RARE Daily

Spotlight Raises $30 Million to Advance Pipeline of Non-Viral CRISPR Gene Editing Therapeutics

November 30, 2020

Rare Daily Staff

Spotlight Therapeutics said it closed a $30 million series A financing round to develop non-viral gene editing therapeutics for direct in vivo editing of target genes.

GV, formerly Google Ventures, led the financing with participation from additional undisclosed investors.

“Having the support of top-tier investors like GV will be important as we continue to build the company and its programs to treat serious diseases,” said Mary Haak-Frendscho, Spotlight’s president, CEO and board member.

Realizing the full potential of CRISPR genome editing requires the ability to edit target genes directly in the right cells of the human body. Spotlight’s proprietary TAGE (Targeted Active Gene Editor) platform develops programmable CRISPR ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) optimized for in vivo cell-targeted delivery. The modular biologics approach is designed to avoid the complexity and toxicities associated with current cell, viral, and nanoparticle delivery methods. Spotlight’s technology integrates the game-changing power of CRISPR with well-established biologics principles. The company is advancing lead programs in hemoglobinopathies and immuno-oncology.

“Spotlight’s unique approach represents the potential to expand applications and democratize gene editing for patients,” said Alex Marson of UC San Francisco, who along with Jacob Corn of ETH Zürich and Patrick Hsu of the University of California,  Berkeley, are co-founders and board members.

In addition to Haak-Frendscho, Spotlight’s leadership team includes industry veterans Mary Janatpour and Hari Jayaram, who bring substantial experience at companies such as Editas, Genentech, Novartis, Schering Plough Biopharma (now Merck), and Takeda.

Spotlight’s scientific advisory board includes Carolyn Bertozzi, professor and HHMI investigator, Stanford; Ronald Levy, professor of Medicine, Stanford; and Jim Wells, professor of Pharm Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco.

Photo: Mary Haak-Frendscho, Spotlight’s president, CEO and board member

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