Sixfold Bioscience (Sixfold), a company using computation and advanced chemistry to design RNA therapeutic delivery systems, has raised $10.5 million in its seed funding round, which will support the continued development of the company’s Mergo RNA therapeutics delivery platform.
Investors in the seed round included Cantos Ventures, Y Combinator, Lombard Street Ventures and Pi Campus, as well as select Angel investors. The company received further non-dilutive funding from Innovate UK, MedCity, and the European Commission, where the team leads a series of collaborations on RNA therapeutics.
Sixfold’s Mergo platform
Sixfold develops programmable drug delivery systems, with a current focus on short interfering RNA for gene silencing and messenger RNA for gene expression. Although rapidly expanding within the last couple of years, the RNA therapeutics field is still largely constrained to targeting the liver or local administration. Sixfold’s Mergo platform offers the possibility to expand the company’s therapeutic approach to other organs, across several therapeutic indications.
Mergo consists of the RNA therapeutic and biocompatible building blocks that modulate the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of the system to target selected cell types. The building-blocks that form Mergo are computationally screened, assembled using high-throughput chemistry, and then tested, with each iteration feeding into the next. In essence, the Mergo system rapidly learns which is the best combination for delivery to a given tissue.
Dr George Foot, Founder & co-CEO of Sixfold Bioscience, said: “We’re grateful for the continued support from our investors, as well as welcoming new investors to Sixfold in the second close. This substantial seed financing is testament to the incredible progress the R&D team has made on the Mergo system to date, and will crucially enable us to expand our platform across several therapeutic indications.”
Ian Rountree, Founder & General Partner at Cantos Ventures, said: “The global pandemic has catapulted RNA therapeutics into the mainstream, yet the field is constrained to targeting the liver. Sixfold’s iterative platform technology and use of machine learning will unlock the power of mRNA and RNAi for many diseases across various tissue types. We are delighted to support the Company in this seed round and look forward to their rapid progress over the coming years.”