Laronde Attracts $440M for Endless RNA
- Posted by ISPE Boston
- On September 23, 2021
Laronde, the Cambridge startup pioneering a novel, engineered form of RNA they call Endless RNA™ (eRNA), has raised $440 Million in a Series B Financing. eRNA can be programmed to express therapeutic proteins inside the body. The financing round included the company’s founder, Flagship Pioneering, among other investors.
Ribonucleic acids, or RNAs, play a significant role in biology. Among their functions, they provide the “code” that instructs cells to produce or regulate proteins, the building blocks of life and important regulators of disease processes. Because RNAs provide coded instructions to cells, they can be programmed to produce specific effects. This approach has been validated by the successful development of several important RNA-based medicines. eRNA is a new class of synthetic, closed-loop RNA. Because eRNA has no free ends, it is not recognized by the immune system and is very stable, enabling a long duration of protein expression in the body.
“Endless RNA represents a whole new approach to making medicines and treating disease,” said Diego Miralles, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Laronde and CEO-Partner at Flagship Pioneering. “Laronde is creating a new class of drugs that can be programmed to persistently express proteins in the body, is redosable, and can be administered through simple delivery mechanisms, resulting in highly tunable protein levels. The therapeutic possibilities enabled by eRNA are vast with the potential to greatly improve global human health.”
“Given the programmability of the platform and its unique pharmacology, we anticipate accelerated development timelines and a higher rate of program success than traditional biotech programs,” said Avak Kahvejian, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Board Member of Laronde, and General Partner, Flagship Pioneering. (Source Laronde Website, 30 August, 2021)