Aro Biotherapeutics Announces $88 Million Series A Financing to Advance Development of Centyrin-Targeted Genetic Medicines
– Aro’s proprietary Centyrin technology platform enables precise receptor-mediated delivery of RNA drugs to address intracellular gene targets
– Funding will help advance lead candidates into clinical development
Philadelphia, PA, January 5, 2021 – a biotechnology company pioneering the development of tissue-targeted genetic medicines, today announced the closing of an $88 million Series A financing. Northpond Ventures and Cowen Healthcare Investments led the round, with participation from HealthCap, BVF Partners L.P., and Ridgeback Capital. Existing investors, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC), BioMotiv, LLC, and Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. also participated in the round. Aro is developing a unique class of Centyrin-conjugated RNA therapies to efficiently and selectively target RNA medicines to the specific site of disease. The proceeds from the Series A will be used to advance the company’s lead therapeutic candidates into clinical development, with an initial focus in rare genetic and immune disorders.
“Aro is poised to deliver on the promise of our Centyrin platform to enable more efficient and precise delivery of RNA drugs to extra-hepatic tissues. By exploiting new mechanisms of action, Centyrin-RNA conjugates have the potential to achieve superior efficacy and safety in treating intractable diseases,” said Susan Dillon, Ph.D., co-founder and chief executive officer of Aro. “We greatly appreciate the confidence our investors have in our vision. With their support, we can rapidly progress the development of our innovative drug discovery pipeline and ultimately deliver transformative genetic medicines to patients that desperately need them.”
Aro was founded in 2018 by Dr. Dillon and Karyn O’Neil, Ph.D., a co-inventor of the Centyrin platform. Centyrins are small, exceptionally stable, engineered human proteins with several unique properties that make them ideally suited to target receptors on specific cells and deliver complex drug payloads to specific disease sites.
“Aro’s unique and proprietary Centyrin platform has significant potential in the treatment of rare diseases,” said Shaan Gandhi, M.D., D.Phil., director at Northpond Ventures, who has joined Aro’s board of directors. “The company has an experienced leadership team with a track record of success in drug discovery and clinical development. We look forward to supporting them as they develop bold therapies that could make a real difference in the lives of patients.”
“We are excited to invest in a company that is on the cutting edge in the development of genetic medicines,” said Kevin Raidy, managing partner of Cowen Healthcare Investments, who also joined Aro’s board of directors. “We look forward to working with the company as it strengthens and broadens its highly-differentiated Centyrin platform and are delighted to be part of the next chapter in Aro’s growth.”
About Aro Biotherapeutics
Based in Philadelphia, Aro Biotherapeutics is a biotechnology company pioneering the development of tissue-targeted genetic medicines with a platform based on a proprietary protein technology called Centyrins. The company is developing a wholly-owned pipeline of Centyrin-based therapeutic candidates and is working with industry partners to leverage Centyrins for tissue-specific targeting of therapeutics for a diverse set of diseases. For more information, visit www.arobiotx.com.
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