Aro Biotherapeutics, a Philadelphia, PA-based biotechnology company pioneering the development of tissue-targeted genetic medicines, closed an $88m Series A financing.
The round was led by Northpond Ventures and Cowen Healthcare Investments, with participation from HealthCap, BVF Partners L.P., and Ridgeback Capital. Existing investors, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC), BioMotiv, LLC, and Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In conjunction with the funding, Shaan Gandhi, M.D., D.Phil., director at Northpond Ventures, joined Aro’s board of directors, along with Kevin Raidy, managing partner of Cowen Healthcare Investments.
The company intends to use the funds to advance its lead therapeutic candidates into clinical development, with an initial focus in rare genetic and immune disorders.
Founded in 2018 by Susan Dillon, Ph.D., and Karyn O’Neil, Ph.D., Aro is developing a unique class of Centyrin-conjugated RNA therapies to efficiently and selectively target RNA medicines to the specific site of disease. Centyrins are small, stable, engineered human proteins with several properties that make them suited to target receptors on specific cells and deliver complex drug payloads to specific disease sites.
The company is developing a wholly-owned pipeline of Centyrin-based therapeutic candidates and is working with industry partners to leverage Centyrins for tissue-specific targeting of therapeutics for a diverse set of diseases.