RNA Therapeutics Company Korro Bio Raises $91.5 Million

By Dan Anderson ● September 14, 2020
  • RNA therapeutics company Korro Bio announced recently that it has raised $91.5 million in a Series A funding round to advance its novel platform for precise and single-base RNA editing to modulate protein function for therapeutic applications

RNA therapeutics company Korro Bio announced recently that it has raised $91.5 million in a Series A funding round to advance its novel platform for precise and single-base RNA editing to modulate protein function for therapeutic applications. This round of funding enables Korro to advance its lead program to IND filing and establish a broad portfolio of innovative RNA editing therapies.

This funding round was led by Wu Capital with participation from current investors Atlas Venture and New Enterprise Associates. And additional new investors include Qiming Venture Partners USA, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Cormorant Asset Management, MP Healthcare Venture Management, and Alexandria Venture Investments.

Korro’s proprietary platform OPERA (Oligonucleotide Promoted Editing of RNA) harnesses the body’s natural base editing system — specifically ADAR (Adenosine Deaminase Acting on RNA) — to make targeted edits to a single RNA base. And OPERA can repair disease-causing mutations at the RNA level in addition to creating therapeutically beneficial versions of proteins to improve patient outcomes.

Korro’s distinctive approach uses oligonucleotide guides to recruit ADAR enzymes to a specific and therapeutically relevant RNA, making a precise targeted edit. And the team utilizes well-established approaches to design and manufacture synthetic oligonucleotides that can be delivered to target tissues.

KEY QUOTES:

“This technology holds tremendous potential to usher in a new era of RNA editing therapies. We are leveraging a natural cellular system that has evolved over millions of years to base edit RNA. By co-opting these endogenous enzymes, we can create highly targeted, titratable and reversible therapeutics that are straightforward to design, manufacture and deliver. We are grateful for the continued support of our existing investors and look forward to working with our new investors to advance a new generation of transformational therapies to the clinic.”

— Nessan Bermingham, Ph.D., Korro’s co-founder and executive chair

“Korro has now established proof of mechanism in animal models; we believe specific and safe single-base RNA editing will be relevant across a number of debilitating diseases.”

— Jean-François Formela, M.D., a partner at Atlas Venture, co-founder and member of the board

“We are proud to support Korro’s industry-leading approach to RNA editing. They have demonstrated high specificity and efficacy in their preclinical work — both in vitro and in vivo — establishing a swift and direct path to the clinic. It’s also exciting to see that such innovative science can leverage tried-and-true strategies for efficient manufacturing at scale. Korro truly has the potential to usher in a new era of nucleic acid editing therapeutics.”

— Hannah Chang, M.D., Ph.D., a managing director at Wu Capital and member of the board