Financing led by Vida Ventures LLC with participation from RA Capital Management, Invus, Acuta Capital Partners, an investment fund associated with SVB Leerink, ARCH Venture Partners, Temasek, Lightstone Ventures, UCB Ventures and GV.
Funding supports pre-clinical and clinical development of proprietary RNA-targeting systems delivered via gene therapy for treating genetic diseases such as Huntington’s disease, myotonic dystrophy type 1, genetic ALS, and retinal disease.
SAN DIEGO, December 14, 2020 – Locanabio, Inc., an RNA-targeting gene therapy company focused on developing life-changing therapies for patients with severe neurodegenerative, neuromuscular and retinal diseases, today announced a $100 million Series B financing. The financing was led by Vida Ventures with participation from new investors including RA Capital Management, Invus, Acuta Capital Partners and an investment fund associated with SVB Leerink and prior Locanabio investors ARCH Venture Partners, Temasek, Lightstone Ventures, UCB Ventures and GV.
“This financing positions us to accelerate our efforts to advance multiple promising programs into INDenabling 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 Jim Burns, Ph.D., chief executive officer at Locanabio. “We are pleased that a team of highly sophisticated investors led by Vida Ventures has joined in this financing round, further validating our progress in research and the significant potential of our unique RNA-targeting platform.”
The financing will advance Locanabio’s portfolio of RNA-targeted gene therapies and expand the technology platform to pursue a broad range of therapeutic indications. Locanabio is currently developing therapies to treat multiple genetic diseases with no approved therapeutic alternatives, including Huntington’s disease, spinocerebellar ataxia type 1, myotonic dystrophy type 1, genetic forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and retinal diseases.
The Company also announced that Rajul Jain, M.D., director of Vida Ventures, will join Locanabio’s board of directors. Prior to joining Vida, Dr. Jain, a physician-scientist by background, was on the executive team and headed development for Kite Pharma, a Gilead company, and previously was global development lead for Amgen.
“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 Dr. Jain. “They have built a strong management team to execute this bold vision and we are proud to support them.”
Locanabio is the global leader in developing a new class of genetic medicines. Our unique and multidimensional approach uses gene therapy to deliver RNA binding protein-based systems to correct the message of disease-causing RNA and thereby change the lives of patients with devastating genetic diseases. These broad capabilities delivered via gene therapy enable Locanabio to potentially address a wide range of severe diseases with a single administration. The company is currently advancing programs in neurodegenerative, neuromuscular and retinal diseases. For more information, visit www.locanabio.com.
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