RARE Daily

Aro Biotherapeutics Raises $88 Million to Advance Development of Genetic Medicines

January 5, 2021

Rare Daily Staff

Aro Therapeutics closed an $88 million series A financing to advance development of Centyrin-targeted genetic medicines.

Centyrins are small, exceptionally stable, engineered human proteins with several unique properties that make them ideally suited to target receptors on specific cells and deliver complex drug payloads to specific disease sites. 

Northpond Ventures and Cowen Healthcare Investments led the round. HealthCap, BVF Partners, and Ridgeback Capital. Existing investors, Johnson & Johnson Innovation—JJDC, BioMotiv, and Ionis Pharmaceuticals also participated in the financing.

Aro is developing a unique class of Centyrin-conjugated RNA therapies to efficiently and selectively target RNA medicines to the specific site of disease. The proceeds from the series A will be used to advance the company’s lead therapeutic candidates into clinical development, with an initial focus in rare genetic and immune disorders.

​“Aro is poised to deliver on the promise of our Centyrin platform to enable more efficient and precise delivery of RNA drugs to extra-hepatic tissues. By exploiting new mechanisms of action, Centyrin-RNA conjugates have the potential to achieve superior efficacy and safety in treating intractable diseases,” said Susan Dillon, co-founder and chief executive officer of Aro.

​Dillon founded Aro in 2018 along with Karyn O’Neil, a co-inventor of the Centyrin platform. Aro is pioneering the development of tissue-targeted genetic medicines using its proprietary Centyrin platform.

“Aro’s unique and proprietary Centyrin platform has significant potential in the treatment of rare diseases,” said Shaan Gandhi, director at Northpond Ventures, who has joined Aro’s board of directors. “The company has an experienced leadership team with a track record of success in drug discovery and clinical development. We look forward to supporting them as they develop bold therapies that could make a real difference in the lives of patients.”

​Photo: Susan Dillon, co-founder and chief executive officer of Aro.



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