Avak Kahvejian (Flagship Pioneering)

The com­pa­ny be­hind Mod­er­na has a new RNA start­up look­ing to dis­rupt drug­mak­ing. The goal? 100 new drugs in 10 years

When Flag­ship Pi­o­neer­ing propped up a small re­search team back in 2017 to study a lit­tle-known cir­cu­lar form of RNA, it wasn’t ex­act­ly a high-pro­file project. But with mR­NA pro­vid­ing the blue­print, that nascent biotech thinks it may have found the gold­mine of all gold­mines — and it’s all found­ed on a quixot­ic lit­tle mol­e­cule dubbed “eR­NA.”

Laronde, found­ed on sci­ence from Flag­ship gen­er­al part­ner Avak Kahve­jian and led by CEO-part­ner and for­mer Vi­vid­ion chief Diego Mi­ralles, thinks eR­NA could be the fu­ture of drug­mak­ing, aug­ment­ing or re­plac­ing al­to­geth­er stan­dard drugs. On Mon­day, the biotech for­mal­ly launched with a $50 mil­lion check from Flag­ship and some huge am­bi­tions de­spite its rel­a­tive­ly mea­ger pock­et­book.

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