Locana, Inc., a San Diego, CA-based RNA-targeting gene therapy company, closed a $55m Series A financing.
The round was led by ARCH Venture Partners with participation from Temasek and Lightstone Ventures and new investors UCB Ventures and GV (formerly Google Ventures).
The company intends to use the funds to advance and expand its pipeline of RNA-targeting gene therapy programs, further extend capabilities of the Locana platform technology, and assemble a premier leadership team.
Founded in 2016 and led by Jeffrey M. Ostrove, Ph.D., chief executive officer, Locana is an RNA-targeting gene therapy company with a platform technology to address a wide spectrum of human genetic diseases. The company has advanced a modular RNA targeting-effector approach to optimize and advance therapeutic candidates that is distinct from DNA-targeted approaches and nucleic acid-based RNA targeting.
Locana intends to build a portfolio of therapies that address the root cause of genetic diseases driven by dysfunctional RNA behavior.
The company’s technology was developed in the laboratory of Professor Eugene (Gene) Yeo, Ph.D. by Dr. Yeo and Locana Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder David Nelles, Ph.D. and was licensed from UC San Diego. Ranjan Batra, Ph.D., co-developer of the Locana platform, is vice president of research and development.