NEW YORK and SAN DIEGO, Calif., September 8, 2021/PR NEWSWIRE/ – ATP, a leader in life sciences venture capital, today announced the launch of Replicate Bioscience, a company pioneering ways to prevent drug resistance in cancer, and treat autoimmune and inflammatory disorders and other diseases, using self-replicating RNA (srRNA). Replicate will use $40 million in committed Series A funding from ATP to advance multiple novel srRNA programs into clinical development.
“Next-generation srRNA agents are taking RNA therapeutics into many more areas of disease treatment, and what Replicate is doing to define and expand this field is completely new and exciting,” said Michael Ehlers, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of ATP and a venture partner at the firm. “ATP is investing in Replicate because we see the company’s technology as a quantum leap in RNA therapeutics.”
Self-replicating RNAs, or srRNAs, work by copying themselves inside cells of the body and instructing the cells to make, and keep making, therapeutic proteins. Replicate uses synthetic biology, original molecular design principles, and a diverse, proprietary repertoire of virally derived vectors to engineer custom srRNAs that offer unique advantages compared to other RNA or srRNA therapeutic approaches. These advantages include lower dosing levels by several orders of magnitude; increased duration of therapeutic effect; and selectively programmed ability to either activate or evade the immune system.
Nathaniel Wang, Ph.D., Replicate Bioscience Chief Executive Officer, said: “We started Replicate to build a best-in-class srRNA platform from scratch—to pursue our vision of a better way to make srRNAs that we are convinced can solve life-threatening medical problems, from drug resistance in cancer to autoimmune and inflammatory disorders and more. We are thrilled to partner with ATP, to accelerate our progress towards realizing that vision for patients.”
Dr. Wang and Andrew Geall, Ph.D., Replicate Chief Development Officer, previously collaborated on srRNA technologies at Synthetic Genomics and at Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics. They joined with a former colleague, Herbert Kim Lyerly, M.D., and Zachary Hartman, Ph.D., both professors of cancer research and immunology at Duke University, to develop an srRNA application capable of preventing or removing drug-resistant cancer mutations—a tactic they dubbed “synthetic immune lethality.” Replicate Bioscience is developing synthetic immune lethality srRNAs for concurrent administration with targeted therapies in solid tumors. Beyond cancer, Replicate is developing different types of srRNAs for autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, and the company’s versatile technology platform also lends itself to deployment in other disease areas.
The Replicate Bioscience Board of Directors is chaired by Dr. Ehlers and includes as members Dr. Wang; Seth Harrison, M.D., founder and managing partner of ATP; and Joseph A. Yanchik III, a venture partner at ATP. The company’s Scientific Advisory Board includes Drs. Lyerly and Hartman; Philip Santangelo, Ph.D., a spatial biologist and professor of biomedical engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University; and Jeffrey Ulmer, Ph.D., former head of preclinical R&D at GlaxoSmithKline and former global head of external research at Novartis. The company is headquartered in San Diego, California.
Founded in 1999, ATP is a leader in life sciences venture capital, with $2.65 billion in committed capital and offices in New York, London, San Francisco, and Cambridge, MA. ATP creates companies starting at various stages, from pre-IP ideas to asset spinouts, investing in them from seed stage through IPO and beyond. The core of ATP’s strategy is to provide flexible capital and access to a world-class team of venture partners and EIRs, to build sustainable, research-driven enterprises that improve human lives. For more information, visit www.appletreepartners.com.
About Replicate Bioscience
Replicate Bioscience is designing and delivering srRNA immunotherapies to revolutionize the practice of medicine and improve and save lives. Replicate applies advanced srRNA technology in its work to prevent drug resistance in cancers; this is the company’s proprietary synthetic immune lethality approach. The company is also developing srRNA injections for sustained therapeutic protein expression to treat autoimmune and inflammatory disorders and other conditions. Replicate believes that srRNA will bring about the next big breakthroughs in RNA therapeutics and is working to realize the promise of srRNA for all patients. For more information, visit www.replicatebioscience.com.