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HAYA Therapeutics Announces Funding from Swiss Innovation Agency Supporting Research Collaborations for Long Non-Coding RNA Therapies

– New research partnerships with world-leading institutions University of Bern, University Hospital of Bern and Lausanne University Hospital –
– Non-dilutive funding will enable the development of therapies targeting lncRNA for cardiomyopathy and squamous cell carcinoma –

HAYA Therapeutics, SA, a company developing precision medicines that target tissue and cell-specific long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), announced that Innosuisse, the Swiss Innovation Agency, is supporting two research collaboration projects between HAYA and the University of Bern, University Hospital of Bern and Lausanne University Hospital. Innosuisse is funding 50 percent of the total project costs of approximately CHF 3.1 million (US$3.3 million).

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@HAYA_lncRNA announces funding from Swiss Innovation Agency @Innosuisse supporting #cardiac and #cancer research collaborations for Long Non-Coding RNA Therapies #lncRNAs

The first project will advance HAYA’s lead program, an antisense oligonucleotide targeting the lncRNA Wisper, a cardiac tissue-enriched driver of fibrosis in the heart. In collaboration with the Department for BioMedical Research at University of Bern and the Department of Cardiology at University Hospital of Bern (Inselspital), the two-year project will be focused on dosing studies, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacokinetics for this first-in-class therapeutic target for the potential treatment of non-obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The study also includes state-of-the-art cardiac MRI read-outs to provide evidence for efficacy and translatability of the therapeutic approach and advancing it towards the clinic and in-need patients.

“The whole team at HAYA is extremely excited to see our lead Wisper-targeting antisense compound being evaluated in a translationally relevant preclinical model of heart failure,” said Daniel Blessing, Ph.D., Co-founder and CTO of HAYA Therapeutics. “Support from Innosuisse has been instrumental to enable this study and collaboration with the University and Inselspital Bern.”

“As a pioneer in the field of lncRNA, HAYA has made significant progress in developing a novel treatment targeting lncRNA for hard-to-treat cardiac diseases,” said Dr. Robert Rieben, Professor at the University of Bern. “With experience in preclinical cardiovascular research, we are excited to work with HAYA and support their efforts of bringing this therapy to patients who desperately need them.”

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HAYA’s second project will aim to develop a next-generation oncology therapy targeting cancer-associated fibroblasts for the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma. Through a partnership with Lausanne University Hospital (Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois, CHUV), the collaborators will use HAYA’s proprietary drug discovery engine, DiscoverHAYATM, to identify oncology-associated fibroblast-specific lncRNAs for the development of a precision RNA-targeted therapy.

“Since launch, HAYA has been diligently working on bringing our lead lncRNA-targeting antisense candidate for the treatment of heart failure closer to clinical testing. At the same time, we have been conducting studies using our innovative discovery engine to identify novel lncRNA targets outside of cardiomyopathy,” said Samir Ounzain, Ph.D., Co-founder and CEO of HAYA Therapeutics. “With this project funding from Innosuisse, we can continue our efforts in heart disease and use our technology beyond cardiology into cancer. This will open up tremendous opportunities in the discovery of oncology-based lncRNA targets.”

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