Start-up aims to advance transformative genetic medicines

Researcher pipetting samples in microplate

Aera Therapeutics has launched with a vision to “unlock the potential of genetic medicines across a wide range of modalities and therapeutic areas”.  

The company’s delivery platform is based on research conducted in the laboratory of scientific founder Feng Zhang and aims to address the limitations of today’s delivery technologies to more broadly enable new genetic medicines.  

Aera raised $193 million in combined Series A and B financings led by ARCH Venture Partners, GV and Lux Capital. 

“Genetic medicines – comprising both a payload and a delivery system – are powerful modalities with wide-ranging therapeutic applications for the treatment of human disease; however, the advancement of delivery technologies has lagged the rapid evolution of payload technologies, limiting the broad application of genetic medicines,” said Akin Akinc, Chief Executive Officer of Aera. “Challenges remain with current delivery approaches, and genetic medicines applications have been generally restricted to the liver and ex vivo settings. Aera’s goal is to change this.” 

The company’s protein nanoparticle (PNP) genetic medicine delivery platform is based on the discovery of endogenous, human proteins derived from retroelements that can self-assemble to form capsid-like structures and which can package and transfer nucleic acid cargo. 

Aera’s technology also includes a licensed therapeutic enzyme platform based on the discovery of novel, compact, and programmable gene editing enzymes. 

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