Calviri Inc., of Tempe, Ariz., a startup spun out of Arizona State University Biodesign Institute, closed a $2.25 million seed funding round from five private investors, including Jacque Sokolov, a Calviri board member, and Mitzi Krockover. Calviri was founded based on the discovery that tumors make frequent and recurrent errors in RNA transcription and processing that create highly immunogenic frameshift peptides (FSPs). Calviri has developed a manufacturing process that displays more than 400,000 FSPs on microchips; that enables patients’ blood to be simply screened for anti-FSP antibodies. The company said that process is the basis for the design of off-the-shelf vaccines for any cancer, as well as diagnostics for the early detection of any cancer. Calviri holds exclusive rights, licensed from Skysong, to the diagnostic technology developed by the Biodesign Center at ASU.
Dynacure SAS, of Strasbourg, France, said it closed a €50 million (US$54.2 million) series C financing led by Perceptive Advisors. The proceeds will be used to advance the company's lead program, DYN-101, through an ongoing phase I/II trial in adults, expand the DYN-101 clinical program to include treatment of pediatric patients and to continue to grow the company and its pipeline. The company’s DYN-101 is an investigational antisense medicine designed to modulate the expression of dynamin 2 (DNM2) for the treatment of myotubular and centronuclear myopathies that are serious, rare, life-threatening disorders that affect skeletal muscles from birth.
Rgenta Therapeutics Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., a new biotechnology company focusing on developing RNA-targeting medicines for historically undruggable disease-relevant targets, said it closed a $20 million seed investment, co-led by Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and Matrix Partners China. The company’s initial focus is on developing small molecules targeting the RNA regulation and splicing of disease-causing genes in oncology and neurological disorders that are undruggable by traditional approaches. Those target genes reside in the regulatory programs and signaling pathways essential to disease development and, the company noted, represent ideal targets for pharmaceutical intervention.