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News Release - August 9, 2023
Alltrna Announces Series B Raise of $109 Million to Advance tRNA Medicines for Stop Codon DiseaseAlltrna is advancing a new class of genetic medicines based on the power of tRNA biology to universally treat Stop Codon Disease, which encompasses thousands of genetic diseases caused by a premature termination codon (PTC) mutation and affects approximately 30 million people worldwide
Series B financing will enable further buildout of Alltrna's machine learning-driven platform to unlock the enormous combinatorial power of tRNA sequences and modifications and advance its first drug candidates towards clinical studies
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug. 9, 2023 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Alltrna, a Flagship Pioneering company unlocking transfer RNA (tRNA) biology and pioneering tRNA medicines to regulate the protein universe and resolve disease, today announced that it has raised $109 million in a Series B financing to advance the company's platform and first drug candidates towards the clinic for a first indication in Stop Codon Disease. The financing round included the company's founder, Flagship Pioneering, and a number of top-tier investors.
"Alltrna's platform optimizes tRNA nucleotide sequence and modifications to turn tRNA's sophisticated biology into programmable medicines with powerful potential therapeutic properties," said Michelle C. Werner, CEO of Alltrna and CEO-Partner of Flagship Pioneering. "Since launch, we've gained unparalleled insights into tRNA biology and shown that we can systematically design and deliver tRNAs with universal readthrough of premature termination codons and restore full-length functional protein production in vivo. For the first time, we have the opportunity to universally treat Stop Codon Disease, which encompasses thousands of rare and common human diseases driven by PTC mutations, giving millions of patients the chance at a treatment in years not lifetimes."
"This is an important milestone for Alltrna as the company advances the first platform to unlock tRNA biology and systematically design, program, and deliver first-in-class tRNA medicines," said Lovisa Afzelius, Ph.D., MBA, Origination Partner at Flagship Pioneering and Co-Founder and Board Director of Alltrna. "The team has made significant advancements to confirm that Alltrna's platform can turn tRNA's sophisticated biology into programmable medicines to restore disrupted protein production, regardless of target, for thousands of diseases with the same underlying genetic mutation."
tRNAs not only play a central role in the translation of mRNA into proteins but also are programmable molecules with a diverse biology of sequences and modifications. There exist more than 1034 tRNA sequences with more than 120 natural and synthetic modifications possible for each nucleotide, yielding the potential to generate more engineered, modified tRNA oligonucleotides than atoms in the universe. Alltrna's platform uniquely combines internal expertise and proprietary machine learning tools to harness the combinatorial potential of tRNA sequences and modifications that are key to structure, function, and stability. Alltrna recently presented data validating the potential of its platform to design, modify, produce, and deliver engineered, modified tRNA oligonucleotides with significantly increased potency and activity for the in vivo readthrough of PTC mutations to restore the production of full-length proteins, independent of gene and mutation location.
"Alltrna has made a big leap in tRNA biology to realize the potential of this powerful new class of medicines to truly accelerate drug development for genetically driven diseases. Without the limitation of developing a new genetic medicine for each disease, Alltrna has the opportunity to scale a whole new field of programmable medicines," said Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Board of Alltrna and Founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering. "We are pleased to welcome a group of co-investors and biopharma leaders who have joined us to scale Alltrna and its platform and to enable a new modality of medicines for patients."
About Stop Codon Disease
Stop Codon Disease encompasses thousands of rare and common diseases that stem from premature termination codons (PTC) also called nonsense mutations, where the code for an amino acid has been mutated into a premature "stop" codon. This results in a truncated or shortened protein product with no or altered biological activity that causes disease. Approximately 10% of all people with a genetic disease have Stop Codon Disease, representing approximately 30 million people worldwide. Alltrna is engineering tRNA medicines that can read these PTC mutations and deliver the desired amino acid, thereby restoring the production of the full-length protein.
Alltrna unlocks tRNA biology to correct disease. The company's platform incorporates AI/ML tools to learn the tRNA language and deliver diverse programmable molecules with broad therapeutic potential. Alltrna has an unprecedented opportunity to advance a single tRNA medicine to unify treatment across a wide range of diseases with the same underlying genetic mutation. Alltrna was founded in 2018 by Flagship Pioneering. For more info, visit www.alltrna.com.
About Flagship Pioneering
Flagship Pioneering conceives, creates, resources, and develops first-in-category bioplatform companies to transform human health and sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, the firm has, through its Flagship Labs unit, applied its unique hypothesis-driven innovation process to originate and foster more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in more than $90 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship has deployed over $3.4 billion in capital toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $26 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions. The current Flagship ecosystem comprises 45 transformative companies, including Denali Therapeutics (NASDAQ: DNLI), Foghorn Therapeutics (NASDAQ: FHTX), Generate Biomedicines, Inari, Indigo Agriculture, Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA), Omega Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OMGA), Sana Biotechnology (NASDAQ: SANA), Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MCRB) and Tessera Therapeutics.
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