Transine Therapeutics closes extended seed funding of £9.1m to advance its novel class of therapeutic RNAs


02-06-2021

New company emerges from stealth with potential ground-breaking mRNA therapeutic platform to increase protein expression.

Transine Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing a novel class of therapeutic RNAs based on its pioneering SINEUP® platform technology, announces that it successfully secured £9.1 million in seed funding. The financing was co-led by Takeda Ventures, Inc and the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF), and will enable Transine to further develop its proprietary platform towards building a pipeline of novel mRNA-targeted therapeutics initially focused on the Central Nervous System and Ophthalmology applications.

Transine is based on the pioneering work of world-renowned geneticists Professors Stefano Gustincich and Piero Carninci who identified a new functional and naturally occurring class of long non-coding RNAs, named SINEUPs.

SINEUPs® bind in a highly specific manner to their target mRNA to elevate the level of a protein by enhancing protein translation. The attributes of synthetic SINEUPs®, universality, specificity and tunability, together with safety controls, afford this platform broad applicability with the potential to address diseases which have been beyond the reach of small molecules, conventional biologics or gene therapies. Transine’s technology massively extends the druggable proteome and represents an entirely unique mechanism of action for currently hard-to-treat diseases.

The modular nature of the technology enables Transine to rapidly design SINEUPs® with high specificity for almost any target for which a mRNA is present. The action of SINEUPs® on translation is controlled and the resulting increase in protein expression is maintained within a physiological range. Their size is optimised to enable a delivery-agnostic approach of therapeutic SINEUPs® that includes delivery as naked oligonucleotides, or via the use of viral vectors such as Adeno-associated virus (AAV), or non-viral systems.

Professor Stefano Gustincich, Co-Founder of Transine Therapeutics, Associate Director for Technologies for Life Science (LifeTech) - Director of the Central RNA Laboratory at the Italian Institute of Technology (Genoa, Italy) said, “Long non-coding RNAs are emerging as key cellular regulators which could be exploited as new therapeutic approaches for multiple indications. Transine SINEUPs® belong to this family and can be engineered to target almost any protein with exquisite specificity.”

Professpr Piero Carninci, Co-Founder of Transine Therapeutics and Head of Genomics Research Center, Functional Genomics Programme at Human Technopole (in Milan, Italy) & Deputy Center Director of the Riken Center for Integrative Medical Sciences (in Yokohama, Japan) said, “Transine SINEUPs® target endogenous mRNA and the naturally controlled cellular process of translation to precisely elevate protein expression safely and effectively within the physiological range, significantly limiting any potential side effects from over-expression or off-target effects.”

“We have known Professors Piero Carninci and Stefano Gustincich and followed their ground-breaking research for many years and are pleased to contribute to the creation of Transine,” commented Rob Woodman, Senior Partner at Takeda Ventures. “We are delighted to be joined by DDF as the company rapidly grows.”

“If the impressive proof-of-concept data with SINEUPs® in a variety of in vitro and in vivo disease models translates into the clinic, Transine has the potential to be a game-changer in the way neurodegenerative and other diseases are being treated. SINEUPs® enable entirely novel therapeutic approaches that cannot be pursued with currently available technologies,” Christian Jung, Partner at the Dementia Discovery Fund, added. “We look forward to working with Transine to realise the full potential of the Company’s transformational technology platform.”

In connection with the financing, Rob Woodman, Senior Partner at Takeda Ventures, and Christian Jung, Partner at the DDF have joined Transine’s Board.

About Transine® Therapeutics

Transine Therapeutics - based at the Babraham Research Campus - is a private biotechnology company focused on the development of a novel class of therapeutic RNAs that can upregulate protein expression with an unprecedented level of control and specificity: the SINEUPs®. The company’s pioneering technology is expected to offer an entirely unique mechanism of action for currently hard-to-treat diseases by massively extending the druggable proteome and allowing it to address diseases which have been beyond the reach of small molecules, conventional biologics or gene therapies.

Transine, which was founded in 2020 and is headquartered in Cambridge UK, is backed by Takeda Ventures, Inc. and the Dementia Discovery Fund.

For more information, please visit: www.transinetx.com

TRANSINE and SINEUP are trademarks of Transine Therapeutics Limited.

About Takeda Ventures, Inc.

Takeda Ventures, Inc. (TVI) is the corporate venture arm of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, a global, values-based, R&D driven biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Japan. TVI's mission is to identify, help create and support the development of therapeutic innovation in alignment with Takeda’s own strategic imperatives. We do this by investing in technology and product concepts, and highly effective teams that can turn ideas into reality. Our primary focus is on medium to longer term returns in the form of product and technology successes for our portfolio companies and capital gains for the financial institutions we work with.

About the Dementia Discovery Fund

The Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) is a £250m specialist venture capital fund investing in, and creating, biotech companies pursuing transformational therapeutic approaches for dementias including Alzheimer’s disease. The DDF brings significant capital and domain expertise to enable talented entrepreneurs to bring therapeutics addressing one of the world’s largest unmet medical needs to the clinic – ultimately aiming to generate significant returns for its investors. The DDF is enabled by its networks and influential group of investors including some leading pharmaceutical companies (Biogen, Eli Lilly and Co., GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Otsuka (Astex), Pfizer and Takeda), along with AARP, Aegon, Bill Gates, British Patient Capital, NFL Players Association, Quest Diagnostics, UnitedHealth Group, the UK Government’s Department of Health and Social Care, and the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK. The Fund is managed by SV Health Investors. Learn more at www.TheDDFund.com

About SV Health Investors

SV Health Investors is a leading healthcare fund manager committed to investing in tomorrow’s healthcare breakthroughs. The SV family of funds invests across stages, geographic regions, and sectors, with expertise spanning biotechnology, dementia, healthcare growth, healthcare technology and public equities. With approximately $2.7 billion in assets under management and a truly transatlantic presence with offices in Boston and London, SV has built an extensive network of talented investment professionals and experienced industry veterans. Since its founding in 1993, SV has invested in more than 200 companies with more than 90 of these having achieved successful acquisitions or IPOs. For more information, please see www.svhealthinvestors.com

 

Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd (BBT) is responsible for the commercial development of the Babraham Research Campus. The Babraham Research Campus is distinct in its co-location of bioscience companies with the Babraham Institute, a world-renowned research organisation. The Campus provides companies laboratory and office space together with access to outstanding scientific facilities in an ideal geographical location at the core of the Cambridge cluster.

Babraham Research Campus Ltd.