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Cyrus Biotechnology Spins out Levitate Bio, a Protein AI, Bioinformatics, and Rosetta Service Provider, to Bring Automated, Customized AI Solutions to Biopharma Drug Discovery

Levitate will be a for-profit subsidiary of the Rosetta Commons Foundation. Levitate provides GUI software, advanced API tools, and custom IT solutions developed at Cyrus where the platform created dozens of IND-ready biologics for biopharma firms.

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cyrus Biotechnology, Inc., a Seattle-based software-enabled biotechnology firm, is spinning out a software and services group, Levitate Bio, to bring the Cyrus platform to the larger biopharma industry. This transition aligns with Cyrus’ advancement of its IdeS IgG degrading enzyme for multiple IgG-mediated autoimmune indications, as well as its extended-half-life COVID prophylaxis/therapeutic IND-stage candidate, ACE2v2 (“ACE2v2”), and other autoimmune and oncology programs in discovery stage. Cyrus will continue to benefit from the platform while Levitate builds a broader business across biopharma. Beyond drug development, these innovative tools can prove invaluable for agriculture, synthetic biology, manufacturing, and research.

Levitate Bio, based in Seattle, will be wholly owned by the Rosetta Commons Foundation (RCF). The Rosetta Commons Foundation was created by the Rosetta Commons, a multi-institution collaboration that developed the Rosetta biomolecular modeling suite. The University of Washington manages the licensing of Rosetta. Rosetta has been licensed to over 60,000 non-commercial users and over 200 commercial entities, and it has recently been open-sourced for non-commercial use (https://rosettacommons.blogspot.com/2024/03/announcing-rosettas-transition-to.html).

Levitate is being established by RCF, following a software industry trend of pairing a for-profit services/software business with an innovative nonprofit advancing core technology for industry-wide benefits. “We are excited to build a for-profit organization to bridge the gap between academic and tech industry innovation and applied drug discovery that can make a difference in patients’ lives,” said Jeff Gray, the Director of the Board at Rosetta Commons and a board member at RCF.

Levitate has robust ties with Rosetta Commons, with Cyrus itself originating as a spinout from David Baker’s lab, the birthplace of the Rosetta software. Leveraging this lineage, both Cyrus and Levitate have refined software developed by Rosetta Commons labs, enhancing it for automated use. “The AI algorithms for protein design have reached a point where we can create almost any protein, but they are still underutilized in biopharma companies. I am excited for Levitate to bring these tools to as many scientists as possible, so they can use them to discover new drugs,” said David Baker, Ph.D., the Director of the Institute for Protein Design (IPD) at the University of Washington.

Levitate will be led by Sam DeLuca, Ph.D., formerly Director of Engineering at Cyrus, with Karen Khar, Ph.D., as EVP of Sales and Business Development. The team includes full-stack engineers, SRE engineers with deep experience in a DevOps-oriented environment, bioinformatics developers, and PhD computational protein engineers with experience developing both physics-based and AI-based algorithms including custom AI model training and benchmarking on proprietary data.

“The field of algorithmically driven protein optimization and design is moving so rapidly right now, we have found that a static set of software products is not able to fit the dynamic needs of the pharma industry, which is why Levitate will be offering a full stack of software and services customized for each customer’s needs,” said Sam DeLuca, the CEO of Levitate. For more information about available Levitate services visit: https://levitate.bio/

Cyrus has used the Levitate platform to create multiple novel IND-stage biologics, to discover novel IP in partnership with over 30 pharma companies, and as the basis of the GUI software Cyrus Bench, sold to over 120 pharmaceutical firms globally in North America, EU, Asia and other regions. Levitate Bio is already onboarding new customers and expanding the range of services available to existing customers.

About Cyrus Biotechnology

Cyrus Biotechnology is an IND-stage AI-driven therapeutics company with an internal pipeline of novel biologics primarily in autoimmune indications. Cyrus is advancing an optimized IdeS IgG protease in IgG-mediated autoimmune indications. Cyrus IdeS has half-life extension and immunogenicity optimization for B and T cell mediated immunity, and is currently in IND-enabling studies. Cyrus is also advancing multiple discovery stage cytokine programs. Cyrus was co-founded with Prof. David Baker, and has worked with dozens of Pharma firms on protein redesign for novel therapeutics, including Genentech, Amgen and Janssen. In 2021, Cyrus started to develop its own therapeutics. Cyrus’ lead investor is Orbimed, with Agent Capital, Hillhouse, Alexandria, and others. Learn more at cyrusbio.com

NOTICE: The information contained in this document is dated as of June 11, 2024. Cyrus Biotechnology, Inc. (the Company) disclaims any obligation to update such information after such date. This document contains forward–looking statements reflecting the Company’s current expectations that necessarily involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results and the timing of events may differ materially from those contained in such forward-looking statements due to a number of factors and the Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the issuance of this press release.

Contacts

Cyrus Contact: Lucas Nivon

[email protected]
206-258-6561

Levitate Contact: Sam DeLuca

[email protected]
301-392-7938

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