Rare Daily Staff
Tune Therapeutics, a biotechnology company pioneering the creation of epi-therapeutic medicines, launched with $40 million in a series A financing to advance its precise genetic tuning platform TEMPO to treat rare and common diseases.
New Enterprise Associates and Emerson Collective co-led the financing, with Hatteras Venture Partners, Mission BioCapital, and others joining the round. This financing will enable Tune to rapidly advance its preclinical research, attract top-tier talent, and further develop its therapeutic platform.
Tune says its cutting-edge technology dials gene expression up or down to desired levels – with the potential to reverse pathways of cancer, genetic disease, and aging by changing cell fate and function at will.
“Genetic medicine is at a tipping point,” said Matt Kane, CEO of Tune Therapeutics. “We now understand that the driving force of human health and disease is not our genes, but the epigenomic elements that shape and control them. Until now, scientists and bioengineers lacked the combined understanding, clinical expertise, and technology needed to make epigenomic therapies a practical reality. Now, we have all three.”
Tune’s proprietary TEMPO platform can rapidly target and adjust the epigenomic machinery of the cell, which shapes DNA and controls gene expression. By varying specific control modules in an iterative process, TEMPO can fine-tune expression toward healthy levels – even in diseases involving multiplex or polygenic interactions.
Unlike genome editing, the tuning process does not generate double- or single-strand breaks in DNA and makes no permanent changes to the DNA sequence, de-risking the precise targeting of entire gene networks and allowing Tune to simultaneously turn silenced genes on and dial over-expressed genes down, in a practical, therapeutic context.
Tune has already shown that TEMPO can locate epigenomic elements involved in several intractable genetic conditions – revealing targets and networks that would be invisible or inaccessible to gene editing approaches. Tune also says it can optimize TEMPO to command expression of individual genes or networks with remarkable specificity and precision. This opens the door to an entirely new class of epi-therapeutics.
“The exciting challenge in front of us is taking these transformative advances in technology and extending their potential for our greater society,” said Charlie Gersbach, co-founder and acting chief scientific officer of Tune Therapeutics. “From proof of concept in rare, single-gene disorders to common conditions that aren’t linked to a single gene mutation – but are treatable through epigenomic control and constitute the vast majority of human diseases.”
Besides Kane and Gersbach, Tune’s veteran leadership team includes Akira Matsuno, co-founder, president, and chief financial officer; Fyodor Urnov, co-founder and member of Tune’s Scientific Advisory Board; Heidi Zhang, executive vice president and head of Technical Operations; and Blythe Sather, vice president and head of Research.
Photo: Matt Kane, CEO of Tune Therapeutics