Omega Therapeutics Raises $85 Million to Advance Epigenomic Programming Platform
July 29, 2020
Rare Daily Staff
Omega Therapeutics has raised $85 million in financing to support advancing its novel epigenomic controllers into first-in-human clinical trials in oncology, inflammation, autoimmune, metabolic, and rare genetic diseases.
Founded by Flagship Pioneering in 2017, Omega aims to deliver safe and effective therapies that modulate gene expression without altering a patient’s DNA.
Although human cells all share a common genetic code within their 23 pairs of chromosomes, epigenetic regulation determines identity and function at the tissue and cellular level. Coordinated changes in epigenomic programming drive the cellular variation that controls human biology, in both healthy and diseased states.
“Omega’s controllable and tunable epigenomic programming platform can provide patients and physicians with therapeutic alternatives to gene editing and gene therapy while offering the advantages of programmable, nucleic acid sequence-based targeting of medicines, while also avoiding the challenges of small molecule-based epigenetic approaches,” said Noubar Afeyan, CEO of Flagship Pioneering and co-founder and chairman of the board for Omega Therapeutics.
Omega’s epigenomic programming platform is focused on selectively directing the human genome to treat and cure disease by precisely controlling genomic expression without altering native nucleic acid sequences. Omega has created a proprietary platform and knowledge base that identifies Insulated Genomic Domains (IGDs) and their biological functions in both healthy and diseased states across cell types.
IGDs naturally function as the fundamental regulators of the human genome and can be modulated to up- or down-regulate single or multiple genes simultaneously. These scientific and product insights drive the discovery and development of disease-specific genomic modulators called Epigenomic Controllers, which are engineered to precisely tune genomic activity to desired therapeutic levels with high targeting specificity and durability of effect.
“We are advancing the frontiers of medicine through epigenomic programming,” said Mahesh Karande, president and CEO of Omega Therapeutics. “We have engineered novel therapeutics that enable controllable epigenomic programming leading to single and multiple gene modulation.”
Karande says Omega’s precision gene modulation approach allows it to go after historically “undruggable” targets. The company plans to have its first program ready to go into the clinic in 2021.
Mahesh Karande, CEO of Omega Therapeutics
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