RARE Daily

Nutcracker Raises $60 Million Financing to Advance mRNA Therapeutics

September 23, 2020

Rare Daily Staff

Nutcracker Therapeutics said it raised $60 million in a series B financing to advance the development and production of mRNA therapeutics on its proprietary, microfluidic, biochip-based platform.

ARCH Venture Partners led the round, which included participation from Bluebird Ventures, a firm associated with Sutter Hill Ventures.

Nutcracker has combined RNA biology with innovations inspired by semiconductor manufacturing techniques to develop a proprietary miniaturized platform that enables the rapid discovery, development, and manufacturing of mRNA therapies and vaccines.

The “GMP-in-a-box” ACORN platform is a first-of-its-kind, computer-controlled RNA manufacturing system that starts with a nucleic acid sequence of interest and produces optimized nanoparticle-encapsulated RNA therapeutics on dedicated, single-use biochips. All steps are performed in an automated, fully isolated microfluidic path, enabling rapidly scalable, efficient manufacturing of high-quality products within smaller footprint facilities with reduced operating costs compared to conventional bioreactor manufacturing.

“RNA-based therapeutics are emerging as an important new class of medicines,” said Igor Khandros,” co-founder and CEO of Nutcracker. “We founded Nutcracker based on our conviction that to fulfill the promise of RNA therapeutics, we must meld the productivity of RNA biology with semiconductor-like development and manufacturing controls and discipline.”

Khandros said the company’s platform can efficiently create both patient-specific and broadly applicable RNA medicines and enables the rapid scaling of GMP manufacturing. Nutcracker is applying the platform to develop its own RNA medicines, with an initial focus on mRNA therapies for oncology, and these programs will incorporate proprietary delivery vehicles and mRNA designs. It is also establishing partnerships with other biopharma companies across a range of indications and RNA therapeutics.

“The field of RNA therapeutics has tremendous potential, and Nutcracker’s platform is ideally positioned to rewrite the rules of what is possible with RNA, from the design and optimization phase through manufacturing and ultimately, through delivery to patients worldwide,” said Robert Nelsen, co-founder and managing director of ARCH Venture Partners.

Photo: Igor Khandros, co-founder and CEO of Nutcracker Therapeutics

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