Sirnaomics nabs a major $105M funding round for next stage of its RNA work

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After posting positive results from a midstage test for its RNAi candidate back in the spring, Sirnaomics has grabbed a $105 million series D round.

The cash boost, co-led by existing investor Rotating Boulder Fund, new investor Walvax Biotechnology Co. Ltd. and Sunshine Riverhead Capital, will go toward the biotech seeking to push deeper into the clinic and one day follow rival and RNA pioneer Alnylam to regulatory approval.

The $105 million will be put toward that R&D process for its RNAi therapeutics, which are on tap to treat a diverse range of diseases including cancers, fibrosis diseases, metabolic diseases and viral infections.

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The next step for the U.S.-China biotech will be an IPO; don’t be shocked if that comes sooner rather than later, given how warm the public waters are for biotechs right now and how many jumped from funding to IPO in a matter of weeks in 2020.

Back in April, Sirnaomics saw positive news out of its open-label phase 2a test for STP705 in squamous cell carcinoma in situ (isSCC), a skin cancer that is less dangerous than melanoma but can still prove deadly.

RELATED: Sirnaomics cleared to start first trial of RNAi lead in cancer

At the time, the biotech said “a large portion of patients achieved complete histological clearance of SCC in situ after treatment with STP705,” meaning it hit the primary endpoint of the study.

STP705 downregulates cancer-associated fibroblast activity within the tumor microenvironment, stopping tumor formation. That drug is also in testing for bladder and certain liver cancers along with other dermatological conditions.

Further back in the preclinical pipeline is STP707, which is also targeting a certain liver cancer, as well as liver and lung scarring. The company also has an early effort against the coronavirus.

"We are very excited to get the D round of financing closed in a timely manner,” said Patrick Lu, Ph.D., founder, president and CEO of Sirnaomics.

“The fact that the D round was oversubscribed is further validation that RNAi therapeutics are attracting a great deal of interest from the investment community and is fuelled by innovative targeted technologies and very impressive clinical results. We are thrilled to add a well-regarded syndicate of investors to the series D financing.

“This type of investor base will not only strengthen our financial foundation, but also brings tremendous experience and expertise to Sirnaomics as it enters  the next phase of growth and prepares for an initial public offering in near future.”

This is a major jump on the $25 million round it got last time out, after 12 years in the RNA R&D biz. This is likely due to the brighter spotlight on RNAi therapies, coming after Alnylam recently got off the first set of approvals for RNA drugs, partially validating it as a target.

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