Update: British RNA Biotech Increases Series A to €34M

storm therapeutics series fundraising 1

Update (20/05/19): Storm Therapeutics has increased its series A financing round by an additional €16M (£14M) to €34M (£30M), which the company plans to use to advance its pipeline of RNA focused drug candidates towards the clinic.

Seroba Life Sciences, an Irish VC focusing on new and innovative therapies, is the key new investor. Existing investors such as Cambridge Innovation Capital, M Ventures and Pfizer Ventures also participated in the fundraise.

There has been increasing interest in companies working in the RNA space since the first RNAi therapy from US biotech Alnylam was approved by the FDA and the EMA last year. The recent massive IPO from US-based Moderna, which is developing mRNA therapies, also shows investors are becoming more interested in this area. Whether European biotechs like Storm can catch up with their US rivals remains to be seen, but this new investment suggests that it is a company worth keeping an eye on.

Published on 12/01/2018 – By Alex Dale

Despite raising a respectable £12M, Storm Therapeutics has kept going and raised another £4M for its Series A, which will boost the company’s drug pipeline.

Storm Therapeutics spun-out of the University of Cambridge to translate research in RNA epigenetics into therapeutics for cancer and other diseases. It is developing technology to modulate RNA-modifying enzymes like RNA methyltransferase. The company had already raised £12M (€13.5M) from investors including Cambridge Innovation Capital, Merck Ventures, Pfizer Ventures and Touchstone Innovations back in June 2016. However, Storm has been able to raise another £4M (€4.5M) from Taiho Ventures. The money will go towards expanding and accelerating the company’s pipeline.

RNA therapies is a very exciting area, which could see Sanofi and Alnylam’s RNAi drug for hereditary ATTR amyloidosis become the first product on the market this year. Elsewhere, BioNTech is working on a personalized cancer therapies using mRNA, with Moderna Therapeutics working on something similar.

Storm’s approach is different to that of most other biotechs in this field, as it targets the enzymes that control RNA epigenetics. These chemical modifications control the activity of mRNA and non-coding RNA, which play an important role in cellular protein synthesis and decision-making, respectively.

Image via Alan de Leon Rodriguez / Shutterstock

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