Lundbeck-partnered preclinical biotech nabs Series A from AstraZeneca
Cambridge, MA biotech Rgenta Therapeutics has secured $52 million in a Series A to take oral small molecules into the clinic.
The 20-person biotech, which is already allied with Lundbeck, looks to ink more pharma partnerships within its core areas of oncology and neuroscience rare diseases, as well as in other disease areas the startup thinks the RNA-targeting platform can go, CSO Travis Wager told Endpoints News ahead of the Tuesday morning news.
The Series A comes from AstraZeneca’s $1 billion fund with China International Capital Corporation Limited, or CICC Healthcare Investment Fund, as well as Korea Investment Partners, Delos Capital, Lilly Asia Venture, Vivo Capital, Matrix Partners China and others, like $20 million seed round leader Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund. Other backers include Kaitai Capital and Legend Star Fund.
Wager, a 14-year Pfizer vet and co-founder of Rgenta, said the biotech wants to enter the clinic “as soon as possible” with its RNA-binding method that is moving toward development candidates in oncology and neuroscience. Collaboration talks are ongoing, he said.
Most of the biotech’s 20 full-time employees hold a PhD, and more than 10 consultants are helping with domain expertise and preclinical and nonclinical chops, CEO Simon Xi said. The executive told Endpoints the Series A will bankroll the company for two to three years.
The two co-founded Rgenta with Zhiping Weng, a University of Massachusetts Medical School professor and director of the institution’s program in bioinformatics and integrative biology. The biotech analyzes human genomics data to find regulatory sites in RNAs that might be prime for small molecules to target and regulate protein production.