The prospect of finding new drugs that can modulate RNA proteins to help fight diseases has brought in a pair of new backers for 28-7, an upstart biotech with a lead program out of Harvard.
Paris-based Sofinnova Partners and Osage University Partners have chipped in an extra $15 million to bring the biotech’s launch round to $82.75 million. They’re joining a syndicate that includes MPM and Novartis, which kicked off the public festivities last fall.
The work at 28-7 begins with a target discovered in the lab of Harvard’s George Daley. He found that if you inhibit the RNA modulating protein LIN28 you should be able to free the reins on the miRNA Let-7, which plays a role in attacking cancer cells. Using that as a starting point, the biotech plans to broaden its focus to a platform focused on a range of proteins that play a role in cancer and other diseases.
CEO Kazumi Shiosaki and her team have now moved into a facility in Watertown, MA for the long road ahead.
Sofinnova Partners’ Henrijette Richter said she was captivated by a “clear leader in capitalizing on the emerging science around RNA biology and how its dysregulation contributes to many serious diseases such as cancer.” She’s jumping on the board now. The other partners include Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Vertex Ventures HC, Longwood Fund, and Astellas Venture Management.
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