Skip to main content


You are here Baltimore: UMB licenses technology to Y Combinator-backed biotech startup

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

GEn1E Lifesciences is working to commercialize treatment for an inflammatory lung disease. Along with the way, it's collaborating with the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and local startup SilcsBio.

A biotech startup that’s backed by Silicon Valley’s well-known Y Combinator accelerator has ties to Baltimore: GEn1E Lifesciences is working to commercialize a treatment for inflammatory and age-related diseases that was developed at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and is partnering with a Baltimore-based startup that also grew out of UMB collaboration.
On Tuesday, UMB said it granted GEn1E Lifesciences the exclusive rights to therapeutics known as a p38a kinase inhibitor program. The Palo Alto, California-based company is initially developing the compounds to treat for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which is a severe lung condition that occurs when too much fluid fills the lungs. ARDS kills 40% of the people that contract it, and there is currently no treatment that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Going forward, the company believes the treatment could be applied to other types of diseases.
GEn1E Lifesciences was founded by Dr. Ritu Lal, who earned a Ph.D. at the Baltimore-based University of Maryland School of Pharmacy before going on to work in the biotech industry. Lal had previously worked on p38a kinase inhibitors, but they were not developed in a way that could meet safety and efficacy standards.
Read the full story from Baltimore.