January 28, 2021

Cancer spinout to focus on pets, Decibel files for IPO

Hearing loss startup Decibel files for IPO

Decibel Therapeutics, which is developing gene therapies for hearing loss and balance disorders, filed to raise $75 million in an IPO. Founded in 2013, Decibel recently raised $82.2 million in a Series D round from OrbiMed, BlackRock Health Sciences, Casdin Capital and others. Previous backers include Third Rock Ventures and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

Decibel Therapeutics was a part of the MLSC 2018 cohort of Tax Incentive awardees. The Tax Incentive program authorizes tax incentives each year for growing companies engaged in life sciences research and development, commercialization and manufacturing. The primary goal of the program is to incentivize life sciences companies of all sizes to create new, long-term jobs in Massachusetts.

Vaxess secures NSF, DARPA grant

Cambridge biotech startup Vaxess Technologies was awarded a grant worth up to $2 million from the National Science Foundation and a subcontract from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to advance two separate projects aimed at developing mRNA-based vaccines and other medical countermeasures.

Vaxess’ flagship technology is a bandaid-sized patch designed to slowly release vaccines and other treatments into the skin. With the grant, Vaxess plans to further develop the patch to ensure it can release mRNA-based vaccines.

Vaxess Technologies was awarded an Accelerator Loan. The Accelerator Loan Program was created by the MLSC as a funding program intended for early-stage life sciences companies in Massachusetts.