Rare Daily Staff

Dyno Therapeutics, a biotechnology company applying artificial intelligence to gene therapy, said it raised $100 million in a series A financing to expand its artificial intelligence powered AAV platform designed to make gene therapies more effective, safer, more manufacturable, and applicable to more diseases.

Andreessen Horowitz led the financing with participation from new investors including Casdin Capital, GV, Obvious Ventures and Lux Capital. Founding investors Polaris Partners, CRV and KdT Ventures also participated in the round.

Proceeds from this financing will directly fund expansion of the company’s CapsidMap platform, which uses AI technology for the design of novel adeno-associated virus gene therapy vectors, broadening the functionality and enhancing the therapeutic impact of gene therapies developed by Dyno’s biopharmaceutical partners.

Funds from the financing will also accelerate building the CapsidMap platform to design improved vectors targeting liver, muscle, eye and central nervous system disease, as well as growing into new areas of lung, heart and kidney disease. Dyno will also use the proceeds to support its multiple partnership efforts with leading gene therapy biopharmaceutical companies by growing its operations, intellectual property, business development and partner success teams.

This expansion augments Dyno’s existing partnerships to develop AAV vectors for Novartis, Sarepta, and Roche and builds capacity to work with many additional partners.

“Dyno’s AI-powered approach to designing gene therapy vectors has transformative potential to expand the treatment landscape for gene therapies, opening new opportunities to cure thousands of diseases for patients,” said Jorge Conde, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “Up until now, gene therapies have been stymied from treating more diseases and reaching more patients due to the limitations of naturally occurring AAV vectors. The field needs improved gene delivery and is eager to discover and adopt improved AAV vectors. Dyno directly addresses and solves this challenge.”

The CapsidMap platform overcomes the limitations of first-generation gene therapies by optimizing capsids, the cell-targeting protein shells of AAV vectors. Current gene therapies primarily use a small number of naturally occurring capsids that are limited by delivery efficiency, pre-existing immunity, payload size, and manufacturing challenges. CapsidMap works in two stages, first by measuring capsid properties in high-throughput using next-generation DNA library synthesis and DNA sequencing. With these vast quantities of in vivo data, CapsidMap then generates improved capsid sequences by applying advanced search algorithms that leverage machine learning.

As part of the Series A financing, Conde joins the company’s board of directors. Dyno launched in late 2018 and has funded operations to date from its seed financing and financial resources generated from partnerships with biopharmaceutical companies.

“This series A financing accelerates our AI-powered discovery of best-in-class capsids targeting all major organs and cell types, enabling Dyno to grow our business infrastructure and establish more partnerships to become the premier developer of gene therapy vectors,” said Eric Kelsic, founder and CEO of Dyno Therapeutics. “Dyno was the first to combine machine learning with data from high-throughput in vivo experiments to optimize and accelerate the design of improved capsids for gene therapy. Our CapsidMap platform brings unprecedented scale and technical sophistication to solving in vivo delivery, the key challenge for gene therapy, making therapies more effective, safe, manufacturable and capable of benefiting more patients.”

Photo: Eric Kelsic, founder and CEO of Dyno Therapeutics

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