RARE Daily

Affinia Raises $110 Million to Advance Engineered AAV Gene Therapy Vector Platform

May 3, 2021

Rare Daily Staff

Affinia Therapeutics closed an oversubscribed $110 million series B financing to advance its proprietary platform for rationally designed adeno-associated virus vectors and gene therapies for rare and non-rare diseases.

EcoR1 Capital and Farallon Capital Management co-led the financing with participation by new investors Avidity Partners, Casdin Capital, GV, Octagon Capital, Perceptive Advisors, RA Capital Management, TCG Crossover, and Woodline Partners. Existing investors Atlas Venture, F-Prime Capital, Lonza, Mass General Brigham Ventures, and New Enterprise Associates also participated in the round.

Affinia is chaired by Sean P. Nolan, formerly CEO of AveXis. In connection with the financing, Caroline Stout, partner at EcoR1 Capital, has been appointed to Affinia Therapeutics’ board of directors.

“Since founding the company, we have had the interest of leading biotech investors as well as strategic partners who see the potential of our gene therapy discovery platform to engineer novel vectors that overcome the limitations of conventional serotypes,” said Rick Modi, CEO of Affinia Therapeutics.

Founded in 2019, Affinia Therapeutics’ science originates from work done by Luk Vandenberghe, associate professor at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School and a co-inventor of the AAV9 vector. In 2020, Affinia Therapeutics announced a series A financing and a multi-year research collaboration with Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Affinia will use the proceeds of the financing to further develop its proprietary gene therapy platform, advance programs into the clinic, and for general corporate purposes. The company says its platform enables it to methodically engineer novel AAV vectors and regulatory elements to make gene therapies with potentially improved tissue tropism, cell specificity, safety, and yields. It will initially focus on central nervous system and muscle diseases with significant unmet need.

Photo: Rick Modi, CEO of Affinia Therapeutics

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