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Perlara partners with Vivan Therapeutics to tackle rare genetic diseases

Jul 1, 2021, 16:56 PM by
Today, Perlara PBC, a rare disease public benefit company, has announced a collaboration with Vivan Therapeutics, developers of personalised therapeutics, to identify novel therapeutics for rare genetic diseases.

Berkeley, California,  London, United Kingdom — June 17, 2021 — Life Science Newswire — Perlara PBC, a rare disease public benefit company today announced a rare genetic diseases collaboration with Vivan Therapeutics to identify novel therapeutics for rare genetic diseases.  

Under this agreement, Perlara will refer highly motivated patients, families and foundations seeking to embark on a discovery journey for a rare genetic disease to Vivan Therapeutics.  Vivan’s technology known as the Personal Discovery Process (PDP), enables the design and generation of personalised fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster)  ‘avatars’.  Using robotics, thousands of FDA approved drugs and other drug libraries are screened in combinations to identify potential therapeutics.

Chief Scientific Officer Dr Nahuel Villegas comments, “Our fruit fly in vivo models are specifically designed to identify novel and unlikely therapies for diseases with clear genetic components. In this exciting collaboration with Perlara we will employ our unique platform to run massive drug screenings to define therapeutic options for diseases with no current standard of care treatments.”

The first two diseases to be modelled are MAN1B1-CDG (congenital disorder of glycosylation) and ECHS1 deficiency. The ECHS1 gene and MAN1B1 gene are very well conserved in fruit flies.

Individuals with MAN1B1-CDG have two deficient copies of the MAN1B1 gene. Currently, there are no treatments for this disease. Individuals with MAN1B1-CDG typically develop signs and symptoms of the condition during infancy, including a broad array of phenotypic abnormalities such as developmental disability, decreased muscle tone (hypotonia), delayed motor skills, and behavioural problems among others.

ECHS1 deficiency is a rare congenital metabolic disorder caused by biallelic mutations in the ECHS1 gene. Individuals with this mitochondrial condition typically have signs and symptoms of developmental delay, dystonia, seizures, and brain abnormalities.

Ethan Perlstein, CEO of Perlara commented, “We're excited to be working with Vivan on developing fly avatars of monogenic inborn errors of metabolism for rapid turnaround personalized drug repurposing. Flies are at the sweet spot of disease model complexity and clinical translatability.”

Laura Towart, CEO of Vivan Therapeutics added, “This collaboration is our first outside of oncology and will enable us to utilise our platform technology to potentially identify therapeutics for diseases for which there are no treatments. We are looking forward to embarking on this important mission with Perlara and the families.”

About Perlara PBC

Founded in 2014, Perlara PBC is the first biotech public benefit corporation co-developing drugs for the long tail of genetic diseases with entrepreneurial families. Perlara operated a core lab in the Bay Area focused on model organisms and drug screening, but is now a fully decentralized and remote-first biotech company that matches families with science advisors ("cure sherpas") who guide them on modality-agnostic cure journeys.

For general information, visit

About Vivan Therapeutics

Vivan Therapeutics develops personalised therapeutics for cancer & rare genetic diseases. For each patient or disease, we build a genetically matched fruit fly model of the disease, which is used for large-scale drug screening to find novel and effective drug combinations.  Using our proprietary screening data, we are building a powerful AI-driven digital health tool, which can predict effective treatment options rapidly for GI & lung cancer. Our platform also powers biopharma discovery and development internally and with biopharma clients and collaborators.

For general information, visit .