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31 May, 2022 - 11:01 By Tony Quested

Transine Therapeutics wraps up £13.7m seed round

Cambridge-based biotech Transine Therapeutics has raised an extra £4.6 million to take its seed round to a final close of £13.7m.

The company is developing a novel class of therapeutic RNAs based on its pioneering SINEUP® platform technology.

The additional financing was led by new investor – transatlantic VC firm Epidarex Capital – with participation from existing backer the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF).

These new funds will enable Transine to further exploit its unique SINEUP® platform and accelerate the development of its product portfolio, building on recent advances with its lead programmes in Central Nervous System and ophthalmology indications with key in vivo data expected this year.

Jan Thirkettle, CEO of Transine, said “We are very pleased to secure this further financing and welcome Epidarex as a new backer, strengthening our syndicate of international investors. 

“Together with our successful seed round announced in June last year we have raised a total of £13.7m, putting us in a strong position to rapidly progress our pipeline of novel mRNA-targeted therapeutics and further develop our platform. 

“We have three active programmes and are continuing to assess opportunities to further leverage our unique SINEUP® platform, which we believe has broad utility across a range of diseases with significant unmet needs.”

Founded by Professor Piero Carninci and Professor Stefano Gustincich, pioneers in functional genomics and lncRNA, Transine has established its SINEUP® drug discovery platform and built a research team with significant expertise in RNA biology and drug development. 

The company is focused on exploiting its platform to build a novel pipeline of products that bind mRNA to enhance translation of targeted proteins. This offers the potential for a safe and effective mechanism for upregulating protein expression with a superior level of control and specificity. This approach may also be applied across a wide range of disease applications offering multiple partnering options.

Mary Canning, principal at Epidarex Capital who has joined Transine’s board, added: “We believe Transine is uniquely positioned to tackle serious diseases that can be addressed by physiological upregulation of endogenous proteins. 

“With its strong leadership team, rapid early progress and highly promising pre-clinical proof of concept data, we see significant optionality for the company and an exciting future ahead.”

The Dementia Discovery Fund is a £250m specialist venture capital fund investing in, and creating, biotech companies pursuing transformational therapeutic approaches for dementias including Alzheimer’s disease. 

The DDF brings significant capital and domain expertise to enable talented entrepreneurs to bring therapeutics addressing one of the world’s largest unmet medical needs to the clinic – ultimately aiming to generate significant returns for its investors. 

The DDF is enabled by its networks and influential group of investors including some leading pharmaceutical companies (Biogen, Eli Lilly and Co., GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Otsuka (Astex), Pfizer and Takeda), along with AARP, Aegon, Bill Gates, British Patient Capital, NFL Players Association, Quest Diagnostics, UnitedHealth Group, the UK Government’s Department of Health and Social Care, and the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK. The Fund is managed by SV Health Investors. 

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