Entrada emerges with $59M to fund the delivery of biologic therapies into the cell

Cells
Entrada’s cell-penetrating platform can deliver modalities ranging from small molecules to large nucleic acids, the company said. (Pixabay)

Entrada Therapeutics has debuted with a $59 million series A and a plan to deliver biologic therapies intracellularly to treat rare and fatal monogenic diseases.

The Boston-based company will start by tasking its delivery platform for enzyme replacement therapies, protein-protein interaction inhibitors and nucleic acids—including in an undisclosed mitochondrial disease caused by a genetic mutation that has no approved treatments.

Entrada also named Dipal Doshi as its president and CEO. Doshi previously served as chief business officer at Amicus Therapeutics, after holding positions at Auven Therapeutics, Catalent Pharma Solutions, Merrill Lynch and Eli Lilly.

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It also appointed Natarajan Sethuraman, Ph.D., as chief scientific officer. Sethuraman was executive director and GlycoFi site head at Merck, where he helped oversee development of its glycoengineered platform for differentiated biologics.

The financing round—co-led by 5AM Ventures and MPM Capital, with backing from the Roche Venture Fund, MRL Ventures Fund and Agent Capital—will help carry Entrada’s lead program into its first human clinical trials, according to the company. In addition, it plans to broaden its pipeline to other intracellular enzyme replacement therapies.

“While there has been extensive development of biologics that address extracellular targets, there is a significant opportunity for novel biologics that address intracellular targets,” said Todd Foley, managing director at MPM Capital.

Entrada’s intracellular biologics platform—based on the work of company co-founder Dehua Pei of the Ohio State University in cell-penetrating peptides—has been shown to deliver a variety of modalities into the cytosol of the cell, the company said, including small molecules and large nucleic acids aimed at previously undruggable targets.

Previously, Pei’s lab at Ohio State has explored therapeutic areas including inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, cancer, cystic fibrosis, Type 2 diabetes and organ transplantation.

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