Ribometrix, a biotechnology company developing small molecule therapeutics that directly target RNA to treat human diseases, announced on 11/13/18 that it has completed a $30 million Series A financing to advance its discovery platform and internal pipeline of novel small molecule drugs that directly modulate RNA activity, as well as expand its team and business development activity.
The round was led by M Ventures, with participation of new investors Amgen Ventures, Pappas Capital and Illumina Ventures. Founding investors SV Health Investors, AbbVie Ventures, Hatteras Venture Partners, MP Healthcare Venture Management, the Dementia Discovery Fund and Alexandria Venture Investments also joined the round. Hakan Goker, Ph.D., Senior Investment Director of M Ventures, will join the board as a non-executive director with immediate effect.
Ribometrix’s discovery pipeline focuses on targeting RNA molecules that fold into complex 3D structures yielding pockets amenable to small molecules with high selectivity and favorable drug-like characteristics. The Ribometrix platform provides a unique and comprehensive analysis of small molecule-RNA interactions, including 3D structural information, based on the inventions of the company’s scientific co-founder, Kevin Weeks, Ph.D., at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ribometrix is leveraging this platform to identify and optimize compounds to progress a broad pipeline of small molecule drug candidates.
“A huge medical opportunity awaits RNA-targeting small molecules that can be designed in a systematic fashion, analogous to discovery methods currently employed for protein targets. We welcome the strong support of both new and existing leading venture investors as we pursue this exciting opportunity,” said Dr. Solomon. “With unique expertise around RNA, an expanding drug discovery team and our broad platform of complementary small molecule and RNA target discovery technologies, we are well positioned to advance a broad pipeline of compelling drug programs.”
Dr. Goker said: “The ability to target RNA directly with small molecules offers the potential to unlock large, previously ‘undruggable’, target classes that could revolutionize the treatment of a wide variety of diseases including cancer. The Ribometrix team has created and harnessed a highly novel platform delivering a strong pipeline of programs for future development. M Ventures welcomes the opportunity to add our support to this exciting company and experienced team.”
Dr Weeks noted previously that the company had identified 10 targets associated with cancer, fibrosis, Huntington's Disease and multiple sclerosis.