Looking beyond cancer, Twentyeight-Seven Therapeutics bumps up series A to $82M+

3D medical background with DNA strand
Rather than target the RNA itself, Twentyeight-Seven Therapeutics is developing drugs that focus on RNA-modulating proteins. (kirstypargeter/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

Twentyeight-Seven Therapeutics launched last September with $65 million to develop cancer treatments that modify microRNA to boost the levels of tumor-suppressing genes. Now, with a series A extension of $17.75 million, the company will develop programs aimed at other types of RNA as well as apply its work in disease areas other than cancer. 

The company was founded in 2016 around technology from four Harvard Medical School professors across multiple disciplines: biological chemistry, molecular pharmacology and RNA medicine. Richard Gregory, Ph.D.; Frank Slack, Ph.D.; Piotr Sliz, Ph.D.; and George Daley, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the faculty of medicine, have worked together for years on the role of noncoding RNAs in disease and identifying related protein targets. 

Rather than target the RNA itself, Twentyeight-Seven is developing drugs that focus on RNA-modulating proteins. Its lead program is a small molecule that inhibits Lin28, a protein that reduces levels of Let-7, a microRNA that suppresses tumors. By targeting Lin28, Twentyeight-Seven hopes to boost Let-7, thereby curbing the translation of oncogenes within cells. 


Like this story? Subscribe to FierceBiotech!

Biopharma is a fast-growing world where big ideas come along every day. Our subscribers rely on FierceBiotech as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data in the world of biotech and pharma R&D. Sign up today to get biotech news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

RELATED: 28-7 Therapeutics raises $65M for cancer drugs aimed at tumor-suppressing RNA

The original $65 million series A came from Twentyeight-Seven's founding investor, MPM Capital, as well as Novartis Venture Fund, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Vertex Ventures HC, Longwood Fund and Astellas Venture Management. Since then, the company has moved into new digs in Watertown, Massachusetts. 

Of the new funding, $15 million comes from Sofinnova Partners with the rest coming from Osage University Partners. It will support technology development and ramp up Twentyeight-Seven's cancer programs. 

“Sofinnova Partners is known for being a company-builder, with a strong focus on teams and science. With Sofinnova’s participation, we are able to work on proteins that regulate additional classes of RNA, including mRNA, as well as to leverage the programs into indications outside of oncology,” said Twentyeight-Seven CEO Kazumi Shiosaki, Ph.D., in a statement.

Suggested Articles

The FDA has cleared its first duodenoscope designed to make the intricate, moving and difficult-to-clean parts in the head of the device disposable.

As Relay looks to enter the clinic in 2020, the company is adding a trio of biopharma vets to its leadership team.

A phase 3 trial of Myovant Sciences’ relugolix in prostate cancer has met its primary endpoint, teeing the company up to file for FDA approval.