Kernal Biologics Raises $25M Series A Financing

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Kernal Biologics, Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based development-stage mRNA-technology company developing cancer therapeutics designed to improve patients’ survival rate and quality of life, closed a $25m Series A financing.

The round was led by Hummingbird Ventures with participation from Amgen Ventures, HBM Genomics and Civilization Ventures along with other VCs, family offices and high net worth individuals. In connection with the financing, Firat Ileri, Managing Partner of Hummingbird Ventures joins the board.

The company intends to use the funds to extend its mRNA 2.0 platform and support the filing of an IND for immuno-oncology candidate KR-335.

Led by Bio Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Yusuf Erkul, M.D. and Co-founder and President Burak Yilmaz, M.S., Kernal Biologics leverages mRNA technology to provide cancer patients with treatments that give them the best chance of beating their disease — while eliminating as many common side effects as possible. Its inside-out approach attacks diseases like cancer at the cellular level. The proprietary mRNA technology is engineered to move in stealth, undetected by the immune system, and encrypted to home in on cancer cells, making it distinctively onco-selective. Beyond the work in cancer therapeutics, the company also license a portion of the technology to global pharma and biotech companies for non-oncology applications, which helps further and fund its internal development programs.

Additionally, Manfred Kraus Ph.D., who was previously the Scientific Senior Director at the Tumor Microenvironment Thematic Research Center at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), joins the company as Vice President of Research and Development. Before BMS, Dr. Kraus was a Director at Pfizer’s Oncology Research Unit where he led the in vivo pharmacology teams supporting the oncology portfolio from new target identification to clinical proof of concept. Previously, he worked in the oncology departments at Astra-Zeneca, Merck & Co., and Serono.