Beam Therapeutics Acquires Dahlman’s Gene Therapy Startup
Feb 24, 2021 — Atlanta, GA
A startup spun out of Georgia Tech in 2018 to guide gene therapies using lipid nanoparticle technology has been acquired by Beam Therapeutics in an all-stock deal announced Feb. 23.
Guide Therapeutics was born out of DNA barcoding and data storage work in the lab of James Dahlman, assistant professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. Dahlman co-founded Guide to efficiently develop safe gene therapies with a former graduate researcher in his lab, Cory Sago.
The company uses patented DNA barcoding technology to tag lipid nanoparticles and then simultaneously test thousands of the molecules in search of those that can deliver drugs to different kinds of cells in the body.
One FDA-approved a drug uses the lipid nanoparticle delivery approach to target cells in the liver. Guide is searching for nanoparticles that will work to deliver therapies to other cells and says it can generate drug delivery data at a rate 15,000-fold higher than traditional experiments.
Guide received project management and business mentorship from the Coulter Department’s Biolocity technology commercialization program in 2019. The company also won a Deal of the Year award from Georgia Bio in 2020 after an initial equity investment from GreatPoint Ventures.