San Diego’s Locanabio raises $100 million for treatments aimed at degenerative diseases – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Posted: December 16, 2020 at 11:56 am

Locanabio, a San Diego gene therapy company focused on treatments for severe neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntingtons and Lou Gehrigs disease, has raised $100 million in a second round of venture capital funding.

The Torrey Pines Mesa company will use the money for further pre-clinical and clinical development of its proprietary RNA-targeting system to fight degenerative diseases including myotonic dystrophy type 1 and retinal disease, along with Huntingtons and genetic ALS.

Locanabios approach is to combine two methods for treating diseases gene therapy and RNA modification. The platform consists of several RNA-targeting systems that are combined with gene therapy delivery to modify dysfunctional RNA.

The capabilities of the platform could allow Locanabio to develop treatments for a wide range of genetic diseases beyond those on its current roadmap.

This financing positions us to accelerate our efforts to advance multiple promising programs into (new drug) studies in 2021 and to further develop our novel RNA-targeting platform, which has the potential to be a major new advance in medicine that can bring hope to patients with many devastating genetic diseases, said Chief Executive Jim Burns in a statement.

Burns joined Locanabio in December 2019 from Casebia, where he served as the chief executive and led the team in developing CRISPR-based therapeutics to treat blood disorders, blindness and heart disease. Before that, he spent the bulk of his career at Sanofi-Genzyme, where he held several leadership roles.

This latest financing was led by Vida Ventures. Other new investors participating include RA Capital Management, Invus, Acuta Capital Partners and an investment fund associated with SVB Leerink.

Prior investors ARCH Venture Partners, Temasek, Lightstone Ventures, UCB Ventures and Google Ventures also participated. Lonanabio previously raised $55 million in May 2019.

As part of the funding round, Rajul Jain, a medical doctor and director of Vida Ventures, will join Locanabios board of directors.

The unique approach in RNA targeting using gene therapy to deliver RNA binding proteins developed by Locanabio represents the next frontier of genetic medicine with the ability to target the root cause of a range of genetic diseases, said Jain in a statement. They have built a strong management team to execute this bold vision, and we are proud to support them.

See the article here:
San Diego's Locanabio raises $100 million for treatments aimed at degenerative diseases - The San Diego Union-Tribune

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