mRNA-based drug company launches with $82 million


Genomic medicine developer Exsilio Therapeutics has emerged from stealth with $82 million in Series A financing.

The funding was co-led by Novartis Venture Fund and Delos Capital, with participation from OrbiMed, Insight Partners, JP Morgan Life Sciences Private Capital, CRISPR Therapeutics, Innovation Endeavors, Invus, Arc Ventures, and Deep Insight.

Exsilio will use proceeds from the financing to advance its genomic medicines based on naturally occurring, programmable genetic elements that can precisely insert new genes into a cell through mRNA intermediates.

Exsilio’s interdisciplinary team has built a platform that combines predictive in silico modelling and wet lab-based experimentation to discover and engineer such elements for integration of therapeutic genes into safe harbour sites.

Because Exsilio’s medicines are encoded in mRNA, they can be delivered using existing lipid nanoparticle (LNP) platforms that are safe, efficient, scalable, and cost-effective, and can be redosed and titrated with curative intent.

“mRNA-based medicines allow for a software-like approach to creating new medicines,” said Tal Zaks, Exsilio’s Chairman and Interim Chief Executive Officer. “Exsilio’s approach leverages the advantages of mRNA and goes a step further by encoding genes that integrate permanently, offering the possibility of curative rather than transient effects.

“The ability to insert whole genes with a repeatable and titratable approach should allow us to treat genetic diseases irrespective of the patient’s individual mutation. This financing will help us advance our genomic medicines and select promising lead candidates so that we can bring much-needed new options to patients.”

Diana Spencer, Senior Digital Content Editor, DDW

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