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13 November, 2023 - 20:21 By News Desk

Cambridge nanomedicine company raises $25m growth capital

Cambridge company ViaNautis Bio, a groundbreaking nanomedicine company at the forefront of genetic therapies and based at Babraham Research Campus, has completed a $25 million Series A funding. 

Formerly known as SomaServe, ViaNautis has secured support from a consortium of prominent global investors enabling the advancement of its proprietary drug delivery platform – polyNaut®.

The round was led by 4BIO Capital, BGF and UCB Ventures with participation from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Eli Lilly and Company and existing investors including Origin Capital, Meltwind and o2h.

The proceeds will fuel the rapid development of products using the company’s  polyNaut® platform, expand the scientific and management teams and establish industry-leading laboratory facilities.

ViaNautis’s polyNaut® platform applies advanced polymer materials and in silico screening to precisely guide genetic molecules such as pDNA, mRNA, siRNA and ASOs to their intended targets. 

Unlike conventional drug delivery methods, polyNaut® tackles the challenge of transporting genetic materials across biological barriers, advancing medicines for conditions with pressing unmet clinical needs, such as Cystic Fibrosis – a multisystemic disease affecting the lungs, pancreas, and other organs – and central nervous system diseases. 

The company’s pipeline includes VNS002, supported by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, focusing on identifying optimal formulation candidates for targeted delivery to the conducting airways in the lungs.

ViaNautis was spun out of UCL in 2018 by co-founders Dr Francesca Crawford, Dr Denis Cecchin, and Professor Giuseppe Battaglia, inventor of polyNaut® and honorary professor at UCL. It is now headquartered at Babraham – one of Cambridge’s flagship Life Sciences parks.

Professor Battaglia is also an ICREA professor and head of the Molecular Bionics Group at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, part of the Barcelona Institute for Science and Technology.

Francesca Crawford commented: “This successful fundraise empowers us to expedite the deployment of our proprietary polyNaut® technology, which offers unparalleled access to the brain and other tissues, presenting significant opportunities to address both CNS and lung diseases. 

“We are delighted to welcome our new investors and appreciate the support of our existing shareholders. We are also proud to be working with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation on one of our key pipeline programmes, underscoring our commitment to advancing treatments for people with cystic fibrosis and other unmet clinical needs. 

“This fundraise marks a pivotal moment in ViaNautis’s journey and we look forward to advancing the field of gene therapy, while creating substantial value for our shareholders.”

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