The precise regulation of RNA target sites is expected to regulate protein expression from upstream, intervene in traditionally undruggable targets, and control diseases.
Rgenta Therapeutics, an innovative drug developer, announced its completion of a Series A round of financing worth USD 52 million. This funding round was led by AstraZeneca CICC Medical Industry Venture Fund (Chinese: 阿斯利康中金医疗产业基金), with participation from Korea Investment Partners, Delos Capital and the existing investors.
The funds raised in this round will accelerate the construction of the R&D platforms for RNA-targeting small-molecule novel RNA drugs and the development of the pipelines.
Founded in 2018, Rgenta is a biotechnology company that focuses on developing RNA-targeting medicines for historically undruggable targets to meet unmet clinical needs. The company closed a Seed round of financing worth USD 20 million in 2020. The investors were Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Matrix Partners China (Chinese: 经纬创投), Lilly Asia Ventures (Chinese: 礼来亚洲基金), Kaitai Capital (Chinese: 凯泰资本) and Legend Star Fund (Chinese: 联想之星).
The development of small-molecule drugs usually targets proteins. However, only a quarter of the proteins implicated in human diseases are currently druggable by traditional approaches for developing small-molecule compounds. Exploring novel methods directly targeting RNA opens up unprecedented opportunities for drug development.
Due to the structural characteristics of RNA and the complexity of related regulatory mechanisms, the development of small-molecule RNA-targeting medicines has a high threshold. Rgenta has built a proprietary platform that mines the massive genomics data to identify high-efficacy and high-specificity RNA target sites, and design small-molecule glues to modulate the interactions among the spliceosome, regulatory proteins, and RNAs. Currently, the company is developing a pipeline of oral, small-molecule RNA-targeting medicines with an initial focus on oncology and neurological disorders.
Relevant Chinese enterprises include Stemirna Therapeutics (Chinese: 斯微生物), Innorna (Chinese: 深信生物) and Ribo (Chinese: 瑞博生物).