Tessera Raises More Than $300 Million to Advance its Gene Writing Platform
April 19, 2022
A little more than a year after raising $230 million in a series B financing round, Tessera Therapeutics tapped investors again, this time raising more than $300 million in a series C financing to support the buildout of its Gene Writing platforms and development of multiple therapeutic programs.
Investors included a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, Altitude Life Science Ventures, ARTIS Ventures, Cormorant Asset Management, Tessera’s founder, Flagship Pioneering, Hanwha Impact Partners, Longevity Vision Fund, March Capital, SALT Fund, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, and others including all of Tessera’s existing institutional shareholders.
“It is our belief that genetic medicine will be the most important next epoch in medicine—offering the ability to cure genetic diseases and to someday even prevent disease from occurring,” said Geoffrey von Maltzahn, co-founder, CEO, and board director of Tessera Therapeutics. “Today’s announcement will help us realize the promise of Gene Writing technology and our mission of curing disease by writing in the code of life.”
Tessera says its gene writing technology is designed to cure disease by writing in the code of life. The gene writing platform can change any base pair to any other, make small insertions or deletions, and write entire genes into the genome with delivery of only RNA. This unlocks the potential to cure nearly any genetic disease, create life-changing medicines for other serious conditions such as cancer, and prevent illnesses with curative, scalable, and easily administered genetic medicines that could become a new modality in human healthcare.
The technology is inspired by nature’s genome architects—Mobile Genetic Elements (MGEs)—to overcome the limitations of gene editing and gene therapies. MGEs evolved to write new sequences of DNA into the genome, in contrast to nucleases like CRISPR which evolved to destroy DNA. Therefore, MGEs offer the potential for immense impact in genetic medicine by writing short and long therapeutic sequences of DNA into human cells. Tessera has designed, built, and tested thousands of engineered and synthetic MGEs to create programmable Gene Writing systems that can write and rewrite the genome with high-efficiency, specificity, and fidelity.
“While there have been many advancements in the area of genetic medicine over the past decade, Tessera’s Gene Writing platform is charting an entirely new course—one that aims to revolutionize genetic medicine as we know it,” said Noubar Afeyan, co-founder and chairman of Tessera Therapeutics and founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering. “This latest funding round is a testament to the immense potential of this bioplatform to provide new treatments and cures to previously untreatable genetic diseases.”
Author: Rare Daily Staff
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