Juvena Therapeutics, a biotechnology company scaling a computational platform to map the therapeutic potential of secreted proteins, has raised $41 million in an oversubscribed Series A, bringing its total funding to $50 million. The new funding will power the expansion of Juvena’s drug discovery platform and advance the company’s biologics pipeline targeting chronic and age-related diseases.
Secreted proteins are a proven class of biologics with largely underutilised therapeutic potential, despite the impact of FDA-approved biologics based on secreted proteins such as insulin, human growth hormone, and erythropoietin. They regulate tissue repair and regeneration, organ development, and immune response to disease but remain understudied by biopharma due to low abundance, higher structural complexity, and the massive search space to map secreted proteins to disease-reversing effects in specific target cells across human organs. These limitations have constrained biopharma’s approach to studying the role of secreted proteins only as drug targets or biomarkers, rather than drug agents themselves.
Juvena has developed a computational platform that mines proteins secreted by regenerative stem cells and screens this rich pool of drug candidates across therapeutic areas to discover and engineer novel biologics, in order to systematically uncover the therapeutic links between secreted proteins and diseases.
This platform is applicable across a wide scope of disease indications. It combines a compounding database mapping secreted proteins to specific diseases, an in silico screening technology, wetlab screening in primary human cell and animal models, and protein engineering capabilities creating a fully integrated approach for accelerating the development of biologics for chronic and age-related diseases.
“We are thrilled to scale our platform with this investment and advance the discovery and engineering of novel biologics that reverse the damage people accrue with aging and chronic, debilitating diseases,” said Hanadie Yousef, PhD, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Juvena. “We’re also excited to explore partnerships with biopharma companies looking to benefit from the mapping of secreted proteins to other therapeutic focus areas.”
“Juvena has developed an unbiased computational drug discovery platform that allows it to uncover novel insights about the role of secreted proteins at an unprecedented scale, and to accelerate their development into regenerative therapeutics for high unmet medical needs,” said Ayman AlAbdallah, Venture Capitalist at Mubadala Capital. “We are excited to work with the Juvena team and believe their robust platform and pipeline will lead to therapeutics that significantly benefit patients.”