The round was led by Data Collective with participation from Celgene Corporation, Lightspeed Venture Partners and several prominent individual and other investors.
The company intends to use the funds to increase the infrastructure, continue to build up the intellectual property portfolio, and advance key therapeutic candidates into clinical development.
Founded by Bruce Hironaka, founding CEO and Director, Agenovir is based on technology developed in the laboratory of Stephen Quake, D.Phil., professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics, Stanford University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The company is using CRISPR/Cas9 and other nucleases designed, engineered, and simulated in silico at massive scale to disrupt intracellular viral DNA. By interfering at the level of DNA, it may be possible to treat and eliminate persistent viral reservoirs for which there are no current treatments.
As a proof of concept, the company has generated data for several viruses that demonstrate infection-specific cell death following delivery of nucleases to human cells.
The founding team also includes Dr. Jianbin Wang and Dr. Angela Wu.