MIAMI, Feb. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Ponce Therapeutics, Inc. (“Ponce”), a company leveraging the growing scientific knowledge surrounding the aging process to develop anti-aging technologies, has now become operational with the launching of its first R & D program, targeting aging-associated skin disorders. The Company has secured laboratory space in Houston, TX, and has hired its first scientists for executing their R & D plan targeting the elimination of p16-expressing cells in the skin. The cell proliferation inhibitor, p16, is highly expressed in both senescent cells and in in situ carcinoma (Bowen’s Disease), which will be the focus of Ponce’s efforts for first product approval.
Rapha Capital Management, LLC (https://www.raphacap.com), an investment management firm located in Miami, Florida, through Rapha Capital Investment XIII, LLC (“RCI XIII”) (an entity managed by Rapha Capital), led Ponce’s recently closed Convertible Note financing. The $1,500,000 financing will be used to transition Ponce into an operational company and begin execution of Ponce’s R & D plan. With the close of the Convertible Note financing, Kevin Slawin, founder and President of Rapha Capital Management, added the title of Executive Chairman, to his CEO role at Ponce.
Rapha Capital is an investment management firm focused on making strategic investments in early stage, non-public biotechnology companies, through special purpose joint venture entities which it manages. Rapha Capital was founded by its President, Kevin Slawin, M.D., a successful and experienced oncologic and robotic surgeon. After leaving practice, Dr. Slawin has been serving as a biotech consultant, investor, and founder, focusing on disruptive technologies in oncology, T cells and immunotherapy, and other breakthrough healthcare technologies. He is the founder of Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Bellicum”), a publicly traded company listed on NASDAQ, leading Bellicum to a successful $161 million IPO in December, 2014. He also plays a guiding role in several of the investments managed by Rapha Capital in certain companies, serving as a board member at 3DBio Therapeutics, Inc. (https://3dbiocorp.com/), FIZE Medical, Inc. (www.fizemedical.com), and Demeetra AgBio, Inc. (www.demeetra.com).
Kevin Slawin, MD is the founder of Ponce, and will serve as the Chairman and CEO. David Spencer, PhD. is the founding Chief Technology Officer. Ponce Therapeutics, Inc. reunites the team that founded Bellicum Pharmaceuticals and took it public in 2014 with a $55 million crossover Series C and a $161 million IPO. The team is retooling their original cell control technology with state-of-the-art advances towards their new goal of creating anti-aging products with a solid underlying scientific basis that actually work.
“The science of aging has continued to mature and can now provide a scientific basis for technologies to reverse the aging process in humans. Proof of concept data in animal models demonstrates that removal of senescent cells from organs improves their function and imbues them with a more youthful profile. Targeting p16-expressing cells for apoptotic elimination is one approach to removing senescent cells from the body and is also a valid approach to targeting Bowen’s disease of the skin, which also expresses high levels of p16, profile,” said Dr. Slawin. “I’m excited to begin work in the anti-aging space, which I believe will quickly rival oncology in both value and interest” he added. “Given our greater than two-decade animal model and clinical experience with regulated cell signaling and cell survival, along with recent advances in non-viral gene delivery platforms, we are now poised to leverage an increasingly detailed, mechanistic understanding of aging to arrest or even reverse it,” added Dr. Spencer.
About Rapha Capital Management, LLC
Rapha Capital Management, LLC is an investment management firm located in Miami, Florida, focusing on strategic investments in early stage, non-public biotechnology companies. Rapha Capital was founded by its President, Kevin Slawin, MD, a successful and experienced oncologic and robotic surgeon, biotech consultant, investor, and founder focusing on technologies in oncology, T cells and immunotherapy, as well as other breakthrough healthcare technologies. He is the founder of Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLCM). He is co-Inventor of the FDA,-approved “prostate health index (phi)” test licensed and marketed by Beckman Coulter and utilized around the world. He has published extensively in top medical and scientific journals including the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI), and the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). He has also been routinely listed in America’s Top Doctors for Cancer (Castle Connolly Medical) and The Best Doctors in America (Woodward/White). In 2003, he was awarded the F. Brantley Scott, Jr., Award for Innovation and Creativity in Urology.
About Ponce Therapeutics, Inc.
Ponce Therapeutics – “Anti-aging Technologies Based on Real Science and Developed by Real Scientists” – Ponce Therapeutics is leveraging the growing scientific knowledge surrounding the process of aging to develop its first state-of-the-art biotechnology platform to restore the youthful balance of aged or “senescent” and young cells in the skin, targeting the p16-expressing senescent cells for elimination. This provides a “reboot” of one’s genetic program to turn the clock on one’s skin back to its youthful exuberance. Targeting p16 will also potentially allow targeting of Bowen’s disease as the regulatory pathway for approval. While initially focused on skin, Ponce is planning to develop a wide-ranging portfolio of anti-aging products based on the best science in the nascent anti-aging field. Ponce is headquartered in Miami, Florida with research facilities located in Houston, TX. For more information, visit www.poncethera.com or email [email protected].
SOURCE Rapha Capital Management, LLC and Ponce Therapeutics, Inc.