Origami’s approach is to (1) focus on genetic diseases, (2) use small molecule therapeutics directed at the mutated disease-causing protein, (3) leverage the natural history of the disease to select which patients to treat, when to intervene and what clinical outcomes to measure and (4) demonstrate therapeutic benefit via streamlined clinical trials.
Proteins arising from genes with mutations may have an altered shape (also called conformation), resulting in defective protein processing and a subsequent cascade of deleterious consequences. Our technology platform integrates recent advances in disease biology, cell biology and biophysics, using patient-derived disease models and machine learning to optimize small molecule drugs. Our platform enables discovery of both protein degraders and conformation correctors. This allows us to match the best drug mechanism to each disease in order to achieve the best patient outcome.
Origami’s core technology is capable of addressing a variety of diseases. Our initial indication is Huntington’s disease.
Huntington’s Disease (HD)
HD is caused by a trinucleotide repeat expansion in the Huntingtin gene (HTT) that causes an expanded stretch of a single amino acid, glutamine, in the Huntingtin protein (HTT). A causal link exists between this known mutation and the clinical manifestations.
HD is our first disease target because it aligns with our strategy to focus on genetic diseases and use small molecule therapeutics directed at the mutated disease-causing protein.
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a fatal hereditary neurodegenerative disorder that results in a loss of cognitive, behavioral and physical control.
HD slowly diminishes the affected individual’s ability to walk, think, talk and reason. Symptoms usually appear in an individual between 30 and 50 years of age and progresses over a 10 to 25 year period. Eventually, a person with HD becomes totally dependent upon others for his or her care.
More than 70,000 people in the United States and Europe are currently symptomatic with HD and another ~250,000 at risk for HD. Each child of a person with HD has a 50% chance of inheriting the disease.
San Diego, June 2, 2020 - Origami Therapeutics, an early stage biotech company taking a precision medicine approach to find disease-modifying treatments for neurodegenerative diseases caused by protein folding, announced today it has been selected as one of the 60...
Founded in 2015, Origami Therapeutics Inc. is a discovery stage company pursuing a precision medicine approach to treat neurological diseases. We are using cutting edge advances in cellular, structural and translational biology to develop protein degraders that prevent HD pathology and reduce mutated protein We have also identified potential conformation correctors that restore normal function. Origami plans to generate a pipeline of small molecule therapeutics for different neurological diseases that prevent or delay the onset and the progression of neurodegenerative diseases to improve the quality of patients’ lives.
Beth J. Hoffman, Ph.D. is Founder, President and CEO
In the non-profit sector, Dr. Hoffman serves on the Board of Directors for the San Diego Chapter of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA).
Leslie J. Schulze, CPA, CGMA is Co-Founder and CFO
David H. Crean, Ph.D., MBA
Dr. Crean also serves as a business advisor for several early stage life science companies, is a limited partner with Mesa Verde Venture Partners Fund, on the Board of Directors for the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) in San Diego, Capital Development Committee for BIOCOM, and a member of San Diego Venture Group (SDVG) and Corporate Directors Forum. Recently, he was recognized and awarded Thought Leader of the Year and Advisor of the Year in 2017 for his advisory guidance to executives in life sciences deals. Dr. Crean is also active in the non-profit sector where he serves in leading Board roles for Solutions for Change, Alzheimer’s Association and Altus Charter Schools of San Diego.
Dr. Crean holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) Degree with a finance concentration from Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Management. Additionally, he holds a Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree in Biophysics and a Masters of Science (MS) Degree in Oncology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr. Crean also earned a Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree in Biology/ Pre-Med from Canisius College.
Steven Finkbeiner, M.D., Ph.D.
In conjunction with Bay Area philanthropists, Dr. Finkbeiner established the Taube/Koret Center in 2009 to accelerate development of drug therapies for patients suffering from conditions such as Huntington’s disease. At Gladstone, he also directs the Hellman Family Foundation for Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program. Dr. Finkbeiner has received numerous awards including the Lieberman Award, the Taube/Koret Prize and the Award for Outstanding Research Achievement from Nature Biotechnology. He is a member of the American Neurological Association, the Society for Neuroscience, the Society for Cell Biology and the Biophysical Society.
Dr. Finkbeiner is Associate Editor of Autophagy and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Huntington’s Disease. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and both an MD and a PhD in neuroscience from Yale University.
Lucia Mokres, DVM
Prior to joining EpiBiome, she served as a Principal Clinical Scientist and medical advisor at Evalve (acquired in 2010 by Abbott Vascular), supporting medical safety and development of the MitraClip, a minimally invasive device used to reduce mitral regurgitation without the need for open heart surgery. Prior to joining Evalve, she served as a Program Specialist at Hantel Technologies, a contract medical device engineering and manufacturing firm, serving as a liaison between clients and internal departments, and managing timelines and budgets for projects ranging from single person startups to Fortune 500 companies. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics.
Kalpana Merchant, Ph.D.
Kalpana Merchant, Ph.D. is President and CSO, TransThera Consulting Co, Adjunct Professor, Dept of Neurology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA, Adjunct Professor, Dept of Biology, Purdue University School of Science, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
Dr. Merchant has deep expertise in the neurobiology of chronic neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. She has nearly 25 years of experience in drug discovery and development with a special emphasis on translational strategies. She retired in March 2014 from Eli Lilly where she was the Chief Scientific Officer for Tailored Therapeutics-Neuroscience, accountable for strategies to deliver personalized therapies and associated biomarkers for the neuroscience portfolio.
Since 2014 Kalpana has engaged with non-profit foundations and start-up pharmaceutical companies as an advisor. In 2018, she joined Vincere Biosciences, as the Chief Scientific Officer to help develop small molecules to slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
Kalpana received her PhD in neuropharmacology from the University of Utah in 1989. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Washington, she remained at the Institute as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry. She joined Eli Lilly in 2003 after contributing to neuroscience drug discovery research at Pharmacia Corp. for ~10 years.