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Ohana Biosciences Closes Doors after 18 Months Launch

Ohana Biosciences is shutting its doors after struggling to collect enough funds to remain open. Ohana was named a “first-in-category reproductive health venture” when it was launched in January 2020 by Flagship Pioneering and based on the industry’s first sperm biology platform. This was a significant departure from the conventional emphasis on egg biology.

The business was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, under the leadership of chief executive officer Amber Salzman. The business claimed it had a novel approach to increasing fertility, reducing pregnancy risks, genetic diseases, and developmental disorders, as well as providing non-hormonal contraception.

“As parental age rises and demographics change, we face an increasing global crisis in reproductive health, and there’s an urgent need to advance research that can tackle rising rates of infertility, inherited disease, and pregnancy complications,” said Noubar Afeyan, co-founder of Ohana Biosciences and chief executive officer of Flagship Pioneering, in the January 2020 announcement. We chose Dr. Salzman to lead Ohana because of her extensive scientific knowledge, clinical development experience, and unwavering support for novel approaches to patient care.

Salzman has stated that the company has agreed to wind down, that it is reducing workers to “minimal operations,” and that it is trying to rehire laid-off employees. Single-cell sequencing, which enables researchers to analyse individual cells that make up various tissues in a precise manner, was the subject of Ohana Biosciences.

David Berry, a general partner at Flagship, was curious about how single-cell sequencing could be used to investigate the discrepancies between sperm and egg cells, given how little research has been done on sperm relative to eggs.

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