Biotech launches to create ‘rationally’ designed gene therapy

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Chaluk)
(Image: Getty/Chaluk)

Related tags Kriya Therapeutics Gene therapy Axovant

Kriya Therapeutics launches publicly after raising $80.5m in financing, with three gene therapies in the pipeline.

Kriya Therapeutics, which is based in San Francisco, US, was formed in the fourth quarter of 2019 and has moved quickly to complete a Series A financing round.

In total, the newly created biotech raised $80.5m (€74.2m) that will be used, according to CEO, Shankar Ramaswamy, to fund developments across its pipeline, platform technologies, and internal manufacturing capabilities.

If the surname Ramaswamy is familiar, it is because his brother Vivek is responsible for creating the ‘Vant’ family of biotechs, with Shankar previously acting as chief business officer of Axovant – the biotech responsible for a then record $315m initial public offering in 2015.

Shankar has now set off on his own and the biotech stated it has been formed with “the goal of rationally designing one-time gene therapies.”

Further than this, the company outlined that its plan is to develop gene therapies for diseases that affect ‘millions of patients’, differentiating it from existing gene therapies that have targeted rare monogenic disorders.

As a result, he company holds a pipeline with three gene therapy candidates that are all focused on diabetes: KT-A112 is delivered by intramuscular injection to deliver genes to produce insulin and glucokinase for type 1 and 2 diabetes; KT-A522 is administered by salivary gland injection to produce a glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist for type 2 diabetes and severe obesity; and KT-A832, which is administered by intrapancreatic injection to deliver a gene to produce modified insulin growth factor 1 for type 1 diabetes.

Alongside this pipeline, the biotech begins with industry professionals experienced in the gene therapy area.

The co-founder of the biotech is Roger Jeffs, previously co-CEO of United Therapeutics and board member of Sangamo Therapeutics, and John Fraser Wright joins as chief scientific advisor after previously being chief technology officer of Spark Therapeutics.

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