Lassogen, a San Diego, CA-based company dedicated to developing lasso peptides as an entirely new therapeutic modality, raised $4.5m in seed funding.
The round was led by Playground Global with participation from Better Ventures, First In Ventures, Tsingyuan Ventures, and additional investors. Phyllis Whiteley, Ph.D., Venture Partner at Playground Global, will join Lassogen’s board of directors, in conjunction with the funding.
Combined with pre-seed funding in 2019, Lassogen has raised investment capital totaling $5.1m to date.
The company intends to use the funds to achieve key results that demonstrate the utility and promise of lasso peptides for treating serious human diseases such as cancer, autoimmunity, pain, and inflammation.
Founded by CEO Mark Burk, Ph.D., who was previously CEO and founder of Snap Bio, along with co-founder Kent Boles, Ph.D., and academic co-founders and advisors Douglas Mitchell, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Tracy Handel, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmaceutical Science at University of California San Diego, Lassogen is developing a new class of peptide therapeutics that combine antibodies and small molecule drugs while overcoming many of their limitations. Lasso peptides are folded into a unique lariat structure which renders them stable to degradation by proteases, low pH, or high temperatures and provides a three-dimensional array of amino acid side chains to engage targets with high affinity and selectivity. Naturally occurring lasso peptides are diverse in terms of size, shape, and composition, thus offering highly tunable and modular scaffolds for designing novel therapeutics with optimized properties.