Weiwen Ying, Ranok CEO

A transpa­cif­ic biotech rush­es to­ward the clin­ic with a twist on clas­sic pro­tein de­graders

The pro­tein degra­da­tion space has erupt­ed in the last few years, with in­vestors gog­gling at the idea of elim­i­nat­ing prob­lem­at­ic pro­teins via the body’s nat­ur­al garbage dis­pos­al sys­tem. Now an­oth­er can­di­date is bound for the clin­ic — but in­stead of us­ing PRO­TACs, this one re­lies on a busy group of pro­teins called chap­er­ones.

Hangzhou, Chi­na-based Ra­nok Ther­a­peu­tics un­veiled a $40 mil­lion Se­ries B round on Wednes­day to fund its CHAMP pro­gram, short for chap­er­one-me­di­at­ed pro­tein degra­da­tion. While oth­er de­graders make use of a mol­e­cule called PRO­TAC, which binds to ubiq­ui­tin E3 lig­as­es to send un­want­ed pro­teins to the mol­e­c­u­lar shred­der, Ra­nok thinks it has a more se­lec­tive ap­proach us­ing the chap­er­one net­work.

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