4D raises $90M to move gene therapies into clinical testing with AstraZeneca and Roche

4D plans to advance its treatments into clinical trials through collaborations with AstraZeneca and Roche, in both ophthalmology and lung diseases. (Pixabay)

Gene therapy company 4D Molecular Therapeutics has raised $90 million in venture capital funds, with plans to advance its vector platform and pipeline of treatments that use adeno-associated viruses to insert genes into cells.

Its lead program, 4D-110—delivered directly to the eye to treat choroideremia, an inherited disorder that causes progressive vision loss—is expected to enter clinical trials next year.

The new VC funding follows recent agreements with AstraZeneca’s MedImmune unit and Roche to develop multiple AAV-based gene therapy products.

In July, 4D and MedImmune teamed up on chronic lung diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 4D will lead early development, including vector discovery, engineering and optimization, while MedImmune will take on the clinical development, leveraging AstraZeneca’s experience in respiratory diseases.

While details on targets and indications are scarce, the main plan is to target dividing and nondividing cells directly in accessible tissue, driving the production of proteins without integrating genetic material into the patient’s genome.

Before that, in April, 4D and Roche expanded their partnership first launched in 2015, focused on multiple ophthalmology projects. Similarly, 4D will handle vector discovery and engineering, including manufacturing, while Roche will conduct the clinical trials. 4D-110 is the collaboration’s first program, with additional candidates being developed for retinal diseases.

4D’s series B round was led by Viking Global Investors, with additional funds from Pfizer Ventures, as well as ArrowMark Partners, Janus Henderson Investors, The Biotechnology Value Fund, Mirae Asset Financial Group, Pappas Capital & Chiesi Ventures, Perceptive Advisors, Ridgeback Capital Investments, CureDuchenne Ventures and Berkeley Catalyst Fund.