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Durham’s Kriya Therapuetics lands $80M to advance gene therapies for diabetes, severe obesity

PALO ALTO, Calif. and DURHAM — Flush with cash, Kriya Therapeutics has big plans.

The biotech startup, with headquarters in Durham and Palo Alto, California, has secured $80.5 million in Series A financing to fund the development of its gene therapies for highly serious diseases.

Among them: type 1 and type 2 diabetes, severe obesity and other indications affecting millions of patients.

Series A investors include QVT, Dexcel Pharma, Foresite Capital, Bluebird Ventures (associated with Sutter Hill Ventures), Narya Capital, Amplo, Paul Manning, and Asia Alpha. This Series A round follows an initial seed financing completed by the company in the fourth quarter of 2019 led by Transhuman Capital, who also participated in the Series A round.

Kriya said financing proceeds would go towards supporting the development of the company’s pipeline, internal discovery engine, and proprietary GMP manufacturing infrastructure.

“There have been numerous successful gene therapies focused on rare monogenic diseases in recent years,” said Shankar Ramaswamy, M.D., Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Kriya Therapeutics, in a statement.

“We see tremendous potential to expand the field and apply gene therapy to highly prevalent serious diseases. We are focused on designing gene therapies using algorithmic tools, scalable infrastructure, and proprietary technology to optimize the efficacy and durability of our treatments. We look forward to accelerating the development of our pipeline, platform technologies, and internal GMP manufacturing capability with the funds raised in this Series A financing.”

Founded in 2019, the company’s team includes former senior leadership from Spark Therapeutics, AveXis, Sangamo Therapeutics, and other gene therapy companies.

Kriya’s initial pipeline includes:

  • KT-A112 is an investigational gene therapy administered by intramuscular injection that delivers the genes to produce insulin and glucokinase for type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
  • KT-A522 is an investigational gene therapy administered by salivary gland injection that delivers the gene to produce a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist for type 2 diabetes and severe obesity.
  • KT-A832 is an investigational gene therapy administered by intrapancreatic injection that delivers the gene to produce modified insulin growth factor 1 (IGF-1) for type 1 diabetes.

“Kriya is building a leading team and cutting-edge infrastructure to engineer best-in-class gene therapies for severe chronic conditions and accelerate their advancement into human clinical trials,” said Roger Jeffs, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman of Kriya, in a statement.

“The company is committed to incorporating the latest advancements in the field into the design and development of its therapeutic constructs. Through its R&D laboratory capabilities in the Bay Area and in-house process development and manufacturing infrastructure in Research Triangle Park, I believe that Kriya will be uniquely positioned to become a leader in the gene therapy field.”

Original Article Source: WRAL Techwire