Rare disease biotech Glycomine raises $12M, with help from Chiesi venture arm

In its Series A announced today Glycomine, an early-stage biotech working on replacement therapies for rare diseases, raised $12 million with help from Sanderling Ventures and Chiesi Ventures.

The round also saw money injected from “existing high net worth individuals,” as well as patients.

Glycomine said in a statement that it will use the cash to finish off IND-enabling preclinical tests and kick-start clinical studies of its substrate replacement therapy in patients with congenital disorder of glycosylation type Ia (CDG-Ia), as well as to speed up discovery efforts towards an enzyme replacement therapy for N-glycanase deficiency (Ngly1).

This disease, an inherited metabolic disorder, is terminal in around 20% of young children, with death usually coming due to infection, liver problems, or heart disease. It’s caused by a deficiency of an enzyme called phosphomannomutase 2.

“Glycomine's approach to a new generation of replacement therapies focuses on intracellular delivery and targeting of treatments to clinically relevant organs,” said Agnes Rafalko, the San Francisco-based biotech’s CEO.

“We are very grateful for the funding and support we have received from our investors, patients’ families, and doctors as we embark on the development of the first-ever replacement therapy for CDG-Ia.”

As is typical in these early raises, Peter McWilliams from Sanderling Ventures and Giacomo Chiesi, managing partner at Chiesi Ventures, have both been given a seat on the biotech’s board.