California-based Kriya Therapeutics announced on Tuesday that it concluded an $80.5 million Series A financing round, led by QVT, Dexcel Pharma, Foresite Capital, Bluebird Ventures, Narya Capital, Amplo, Paul Manning, and Asia Alpha. The company, which was founded in 2019, has a pipeline that includes multiple AAV-based gene therapies for the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as obesity.
“There have been numerous successful gene therapies focused on rare monogenic diseases in recent years,” said Shankar Ramaswamy, M.D., Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Kriya Therapeutics. “We see tremendous potential to expand the field and apply gene therapy to highly prevalent serious diseases. We are focused on designing gene therapies using algorithmic tools, scalable infrastructure, and proprietary technology to optimize the efficacy and durability of our treatments. We look forward to accelerating the development of our pipeline, platform technologies, and internal GMP manufacturing capability with the funds raised in this Series A financing.”
Kriya focuses on developing gene therapies for conditions that impact millions of patients. Its goal is to design one-time gene therapies to express therapeutic proteins within specific human tissues. Kriya’s pipeline includes KT-A112, KT-A522, and KT-A832, all of which are investigational gene therapies.
Kriya’s leadership team is composed of experts who have experience designing, developing and manufacturing successful gene therapies as well.
“Kriya is building a leading team and cutting-edge infrastructure to engineer best-in-class gene therapies for severe chronic conditions and accelerate their advancement into human clinical trials,” said Roger Jeffs, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Vice Chairman of Kriya. “The company is committed to incorporating the latest advancements in the field into the design and development of its therapeutic constructs. Through its R&D laboratory capabilities in the Bay Area and in-house process development and manufacturing infrastructure in Research Triangle Park, I believe that Kriya will be uniquely positioned to become a leader in the gene therapy field.”
Another company with a focus on gene therapy that recently came out of stealth mode is Dyno Therapeutics. On Monday, the Massachusetts-based organization announced that it is now eligible for more than $2 billion in upfront payments, research support and various milestones and options fees through its research-and-development and collaboration deals.
Dyno, which launched in 2018 with approximately $9 million in financing, has a technology platform built on the intellectual property that came from the laboratory of George Church. Church, who is the Robert Winthrop Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, is a cofounder of Dyno.
“At Dyno, we see a vast opportunity to expand the treatment landscape for gene therapies,” said Eric D. Kelsic, co-founder and chief executive officer of Dyno. “The success of gene therapy relies on the ability of vectors to safely and precisely deliver a gene to the intended target cells and tissues. Our approach addresses the major limitations of naturally occurring AAV vectors and creates optimized, disease-specific vectors for gene therapies with great curative potential. Our portfolio of R&D programs and newly-announced collaborations with leading gene therapy developers reflect the applicability of our AI-powered approach to improve treatments for patients and expand the number of treatable diseases with gene therapies.”
Dyno has announced partnerships with Novartis and Sarepta Therapeutics thus far. With Sarepta, Dyno will design and discover novel AAV capsids to improve gene therapy for muscle diseases. Along with Novartis, Dyno will focus on developing improved AAV vectors for gene therapies for ocular diseases.