DURHAM – StrideBio, a life science startup focused on gene editing technology known as CRISPR, has raised nearly $16 million from investors in what it described as an oversubscribed round of venture capital.
And the firm landed some high-profile backers:
Durham-based Hatteras Venture Partners, which led the round
- Takeda Ventures
- Alexandria Venture Investments
- UCB Ventures
The funding was disclosed Wednesday.
“StrideBio is quickly becoming a leading gene therapy company for rare diseases,” said Clay Thorp, General Partner of Hatteras, in a statement. “We are excited to be joined by three new investors and to continue our support as the company rapidly grows.”
As part of the deal, executives at Takeda and UCB join the StrideBio board.
CRISPR genome editing was developed in 2012, making it cheap and relatively easy for scientists to target specific gene sequences.
StrideBio, Inc is a gene therapy company focused on creating and developing novel adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector technologies and therapeutics for rare diseases. Our STRucture Inspired DEsign approach holds the potential to generate unique AAV capsids capable of overcoming the challenges of pre-existing neutralizing antibodies and improving gene transfer efficiency in patients. This powerful new approach has broad application, enabling gene addition, gene silencing and gene editing modalities for a wide range of diseases, including rare genetic diseases.
StrideBio is focused on what it calls engineered viral vectors, or AAV, for gene therapy. The firm has already announced it has struck a deal with Crispr Therapeutics to develop in vivo gene delivery applications. As part of the deal, StrideBio will receive development funding, milestones and royalties on licensed vectors, and retain certain rights to use the novel AAV vectors for gene therapy applications.
The technology is based on the work of Dr. Aravind Asokan at UNC-Chapel Hill and Dr. Mavis Agbandje-McKenna at the University of Florida.
Asokan leads the Laboratory for Synthetic Virology & Gene Therapy at UNC-Chapel Hill. Originally trained as a chemist, he has blended the fields of protein engineering, virology and genetics to generate several gene therapy platforms currently being evaluated in preclinical and clinical studies.
He is the lead inventor on several AAV patents licensed to multiple gene therapy companies. Asokan is an associate professor in the departments of genetics and biochemistry & biophysics at UNC-CH.
According to the firm’s LinkedIn site, StrideBio has 14 employees.
(North Carolina Business News Wire contributed to this report.)