Recent off a $91.5 million spherical, RNA-editing biotech Korro Bio has a brand new CEO. Ram Aiyar, Ph.D., comes on board after engineering the $2.1 billion acquisition of his earlier firm, Corvidia Therapeutics, by Novo Nordisk.
“The acquisition of Corvidia occurred in June of this 12 months and it took a little bit little bit of time. That transition ended for me in September,” stated Aiyar, who based the heart-focused biotech and served as its chief monetary officer and chief enterprise officer. Certain by social distancing guidelines within the COVID-19 pandemic, he discovered himself on the lookout for his subsequent step nearly.
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“I had been discussing with enterprise companies generally phrases of placing collectively ideas for a subsequent firm,” he stated. Alongside the best way, he met Atlas Enterprise companions Jean-François Formela, M.D., and Nessan Bermingham, Ph.D., and the remainder is historical past.
Aiyar jumped into biopharma at Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit, working in immunology. Earlier than Corvidia, he was an entrepreneur-in-residence at BioHealth Improvements and held roles at FlowMetric and Sofinnova Companions.
At Korro’s helm, he’ll concentrate on constructing the group—which incorporates attempting to find a chief scientific officer—and shepherd the corporate’s candidates towards the clinic over the following two years or so.
The corporate’s work relies on its oligonucleotide-promoted modifying of RNA (OPERA) platform, which harnesses the physique’s pure base-editing system. Not like CRISPR-based modifying techniques, which make a double-stranded reduce within the DNA, Korro’s strategy makes reversible edits to a single base, or letter, within the RNA. The strategy relies on the work of Josh Rosenthal, Ph.D., of the Marine Organic Laboratory in Massachusetts.
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“We’re not seeking to shut down genes, however to change RNAs and transfer them from a diseased state to a traditional state via base concentrating on versus shutting the gene off,” Bermingham, the corporate’s co-founder and government chair, stated in a earlier interview.
Korro hasn’t revealed particular illnesses it’s going after, however contains illnesses of the liver, central nervous system and the attention as focus areas.
Incubated at Atlas Enterprise, the corporate uncloaked in October 2019 with an undisclosed quantity of funding from Atlas and New Enterprise Associates. In September of this 12 months, it topped up its coffers with a $91.5 million sequence A spherical from Wu Capital, Qiming Enterprise Companions USA, Citadel’s Surveyor Capital, Cormorant Asset Administration, MP Healthcare Enterprise Administration and Alexandria Enterprise Investments, in addition to Atlas and NEA. That capital will push Korro’s lead program to an IND submitting and arrange a “broad portfolio” of RNA-editing remedies.