Laronde Attracts $440M in First External Financing to Further Advance Endless RNA™ Platform

Laronde | August 30, 2021

Laronde, the company pioneering Endless RNA™ a novel, engineered form of RNA that can be programmed to express therapeutic proteins inside the body, today announced that it has raised $440 Million in a Series B Financing to advance the development of its eRNA platform and a broad pipeline of programs across a number of therapeutic categories. The financing round included the company's founder, Flagship Pioneering, along with funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Invus, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), Fidelity Management & Research Company, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, and Federated Hermes Kaufmann Funds, among others.

"Endless RNA represents a whole new approach to making medicines and treating disease," said Diego Miralles, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Laronde and CEO-Partner at Flagship Pioneering. "Laronde is creating a new class of drugs that can be programmed to persistently express proteins in the body, is redosable, and can be administered through simple delivery mechanisms, resulting in highly tunable protein levels. The therapeutic possibilities enabled by eRNA are vast with the potential to greatly improve global human health. Having assembled such a knowledgeable and committed group of investors gives us the ability to not only advance this powerful technology platform but also build a transformative company to support our bold vision."

"Over the past few years, we have seen how programmable platforms like translatable mRNA can rapidly bring forward new medicines," said Avak Kahvejian, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Board Member of Laronde, and General Partner, Flagship Pioneering. "eRNA solves many of the limitations of other drug modalities and unlocks new opportunities for creating first- and best-in-class therapeutics. Since launch, we continue to advance the science of eRNA and have been able to precisely demonstrate a controlled expression of secreted peptides, proteins, antibodies, and vaccine constructs in vivo through the use of an array of delivery options, including subcutaneous administration. Given the programmability of the platform and its unique pharmacology, we anticipate accelerated development timelines and a higher rate of program success than traditional biotech programs."

"The field of biotech is at the leading edge of technological progress, challenging us to think beyond incremental advances and to take big leaps – Endless RNA is one of those big leaps," said Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Laronde and Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flagship Pioneering. "We are delighted that investors well familiar with the power and potential of Flagship's bioplatforms are fueling Laronde as we scale the company and the platform to realize the potential of this powerful new class of medicines."

About Endless RNA™
Ribonucleic Acids, or RNAs, play a significant role in biology. Among their functions, they provide the "code" that instructs cells to produce or regulate proteins, the building blocks of life and important regulators of disease processes. Because RNAs provide coded instructions to cells, they can be programmed to produce specific effects. This approach has been validated by the successful development of several important RNA-based medicines, but RNA's potential as a drug development modality has just begun. Endless RNA™, or eRNA, was invented at Flagship Labs and is a new class of synthetic, closed-loop RNA. Because eRNA has no free ends, it is not recognized by the immune system and is very stable, enabling a long duration of protein expression. In addition, eRNA can serve protein-coding and non-protein-coding functions, and its protein translation capabilities are completely modular  switching an eRNA "protein sequence cassette" enables the expression of a different protein or multiple proteins that can be tuned as needed on an application-by-application basis.

About Laronde
Laronde is pioneering a platform that offers a completely novel way of modulating human biology. Endless RNA™, invented at Flagship Labs, is a uniquely engineered RNA that can be programmed to express diverse proteins inside the body. It is persistent, non-immunogenic, allows for repeat dosing, and offers flexibility in formulation and delivery. Laronde was founded in 2017 by Flagship Labs, the innovation foundry of Flagship Pioneering. The company is rapidly scaling to support the parallel development of multiple programs across many disease areas.

About Flagship Pioneering
Flagship Pioneering conceives, creates, resources, and develops first-in-category bioplatform companies to transform human health and sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, the firm has, through its Flagship Labs unit, applied its unique hypothesis-driven innovation process to originate and foster more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in over $130 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship has deployed over $2.5 billion in capital toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $19 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions. The current Flagship ecosystem comprises 41 transformative companies, including Denali Therapeutics , Indigo Ag, Moderna , Rubius Therapeutics , Sana Biotechnology , Seres Therapeutics , and Valo Health.


The infant gut microbiota has a high abundance of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) compared to adults, even in the absence of antibiotic exposure. Here we study potential sources of infant gut ARGs by performing metagenomic sequencing of breast milk, as well as infant and maternal gut microbiomes. We find that fecal ARG and mobile genetic element (MGE) profiles of infants are more similar to those of their own mothers than to those of unrelated mothers.


The infant gut microbiota has a high abundance of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) compared to adults, even in the absence of antibiotic exposure. Here we study potential sources of infant gut ARGs by performing metagenomic sequencing of breast milk, as well as infant and maternal gut microbiomes. We find that fecal ARG and mobile genetic element (MGE) profiles of infants are more similar to those of their own mothers than to those of unrelated mothers.

Related News


ImaginAb Executes New License and Supply Agreement for CD8 ImmunoPET Technology with TriSalus Life Sciences

ImaginAb | November 23, 2022

ImaginAb Inc., a global biotechnology company developing 89Zr crefmirlimab berdoxam imaging agent and radiopharmaceutical therapy products, is pleased to announce the signing of a new non-exclusive License and Supply Agreement with TriSalus Life Sciences, Inc. an oncology therapeutics company integrating immunotherapy with disruptive delivery technology to transform the treatment paradigm for patients with liver and pancreatic tumors. Under the terms of the agreement, ImaginAb will license and supply clinical doses of ImaginAb's investigational CD8 ImmunoPET to TriSalus for use in its clinical trials using its proprietary Pressure-Enabled Drug Delivery™ method for intravascular delivery of its investigational SD-101 compound. "We are delighted that TriSalus will use our investigational CD8 ImmunoPET technology in an imaging sub-study within its PERIO-01 clinical trial which leverages its PEDD™ methodology and SD-101, a novel therapeutic candidate designed to re-activate the immune system within the liver and pancreas. Our agreement with TriSalus highlights our expanding partnership network and showcases the increasing adoption of our CD8 ImmunoPET technology." Ian Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of ImaginAb About ImaginAb ImaginAb is a clinical stage, revenue-generating global biotechnology company developing the next generation of imaging agents and radiopharmaceutical therapy products through its proprietary minibody and cys-diabody platforms. The lead candidate 89Zr crefmirlimab berdoxam imaging agent is currently in Phase II clinical trials and has been licensed by numerous pharmaceutical and biotech companies for imaging in their immunotherapy clinical trials, primarily in oncology. About 89Zr crefmirlimab berdoxam CD8 ImmunoPET is an 89Zr-labelled minibody that has been designed to bind to the CD8 receptor on human T cells for quantitative, non-invasive PET imaging of CD8+ T cells. CD8+ T cells are the main effector cells involved in the immune response against tumour cells induced by immunotherapies and they also play a key role in multiple autoimmune diseases. As such, quantitative imaging of CD8+ T cells is currently being researched to determine whether it may be used to diagnose the immune status of a patient, to measure the efficacy of immunotherapies and predict patient outcomes. About TriSalus Life Sciences TriSalus Life Sciences® is an oncology therapeutics company integrating immunotherapy with disruptive delivery technology to transform the treatment paradigm for patients with liver and pancreatic tumors. The company works to enable more patients to benefit from established and emerging cancer treatments by overcoming intratumoral pressure and immunosuppression, significant barriers that can limit delivery and efficacy. The proprietary TriSalus delivery method—Pressure-Enabled Drug Delivery™—modulates pressure and flow within blood vessels to improve therapy uptake and tumor response in ways traditional approaches cannot. Two FDA-cleared devices utilize TriSalus' proprietary approach to delivery of therapeutics: the TriNav® Infusion System and the Pancreatic Retrograde Venous Infusion™ System. Currently, in clinical trials across multiple indications, the TriSalus™ Platform uses PEDD™ to administer the company's investigational immunotherapy, SD-101, through a regional intravascular approach with the goal of strengthening immunotherapy responses for liver and pancreatic cancer patients. In partnership with leading cancer centers across the country, and by leveraging deep immuno-oncology expertise and inventive technology development, TriSalus is committed to advancing innovation that improves outcomes for patients. About PERIO-01 The Pressure-Enabled Regional Immuno-Oncology™ PERIO™-01 clinical trial is studying a new investigational drug, SD-101, delivered intravascularly by the TriNav® Infusion System using the Pressure-Enabled Drug Delivery™ method of administration. The study will evaluate if this platform approach can improve the performance of systemic checkpoint inhibitors in treating uveal melanoma with liver metastases.

Read More


Neumora Therapeutics Announces $112 Million Series B Financing

Neumora | October 12, 2022

Neumora Therapeutics, Inc. a clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering precision medicines for brain diseases through the integration of data science and neuroscience, today announced the close of a $112 million Series B financing. The Series B syndicate includes both new and existing investors, such as Abu Dhabi Growth Fund Altitude Life Science Ventures, Amgen, ARCH Venture Partners, Exor Ventures, F-Prime Capital, Invus, Mubadala Capital, Newpath Partners, Polaris Partners and other undisclosed investors. The funding will support the advancement of a broad clinical and preclinical pipeline of novel precision medicine candidates for neuropsychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases and the development of the company's precision neuroscience platform. “This Series B financing reflects Neumora’s continued progress in building a best-in-class neuroscience company, including assembling a world-class team, scaling up an industry-leading data science and translational neuroscience platform, and advancing a broad and growing pipeline of seven development programs, including our internal discovery efforts and business development activities. This considerable amount of progress in such a short period of time reflects our urgency to address the relative lack of progress and innovation in neuroscience with our data-driven, precision medicine approach.” Paul L. Berns, co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Neumora Neumora continues to advance a broad and growing pipeline of clinical and preclinical programs, including a balance of both clinically validated and novel approaches targeting a broad range of underserved neuropsychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. The company recently completed enrollment in a Phase 2a clinical trial for its most advanced product candidate, NMRA-140, a kappa opioid receptor antagonist in development for the treatment of major depressive disorder. Neumora is also progressing NMRA-511, a clinical-stage vasopressin 1a receptor antagonist in development for neuropsychiatric disorders, and NMRA-266, an M4 muscarinic receptor positive allosteric modulator being advanced toward initiation of Phase 1 development for schizophrenia in 2023. The company’s earlier-stage pipeline includes multiple first-in-class opportunities in preclinical development, including neurodegeneration programs focused on Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). “We are pleased to have the support of this leading group of both new and existing investors that share our vision and excitement with our progress to date,” said Joshua Pinto, Ph.D., chief financial officer of Neumora. “With this Series B financing, we have successfully raised approximately $650 million in capital, resulting in a very strong financial position to continue advancing our broad pipeline through multiple near-term value-creating milestones.” Neumora was founded to pioneer a new era of precision neuroscience medicines by using patient enrichment strategies to help potentially improve clinical development success rates. The company’s proprietary approach leverages recent advances in data science and translational neuroscience to cut through the heterogeneity inherent in brain disease. By approaching patient enrichment and clinical development strategies through this lens, Neumora aims to match the right patient populations to the right targeted therapeutics, thereby driving innovation and the potential for clinical development success in this field and, ultimately, providing better therapies to patients. In connection with the completion of the Series B financing, Alaa Halawa, partner and head of U.S. Ventures at Mubadala Capital, joined Neumora’s board of directors. Mr. Halawa said, “We are proud to partner with Neumora in helping advance the company’s efforts to build the precision neuroscience company of the future. The integration of technology, namely AI/ML, and proprietary clinical data is helping us develop a deeper understanding of the complex drivers of brain disease to develop novel treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases - we are humbled to be part of their journey.” About Neumora Neumora Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering precision medicines for brain diseases through the integration of data science and neuroscience. Neumora is redefining neuroscience research and development with a data-driven precision neuroscience platform to cut through brain disease heterogeneity to match the right patient populations to targeted therapeutics. Neumora is relentless in its commitment to discovering, developing and commercializing targeted therapies for people living with brain diseases.

Read More


BigHat Biosciences Announces Research Collaboration with Merck

BigHat Biosciences, Inc. | November 30, 2022

BigHat Biosciences, Inc., a biotechnology company with a machine learning-guided antibody discovery and development platform, announced a collaboration with Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, to apply the company’s technology to design candidates for up to three drug discovery programs. BigHat’s design platform, Milliner, integrates a high-speed characterization with ML technologies to engineer antibodies with more complex functions and better biophysical properties. This approach could help reduce the difficulty of optimizing antibodies and other therapeutic proteins. Under the collaboration, BigHat and Merck will collaborate to optimize up to three proteins by leveraging BigHat’s platform to synthesize, express, purify, and characterize molecules. Mark DePristo, co-founder and CEO of BigHat, continued, "We are thrilled to be collaborating with Merck's world-class drug development teams to design safer, more effective antibodies for these important therapeutic programs.” The teams have initiated work on the first program and are looking forward to using the power of the complementary skills sets within each research team to generate high-quality lead antibodies. “We are excited to begin this collaboration to advance next-generation antibody therapeutics to patients,” said Elizabeth Schwarzbach, BigHat’s Chief Business Officer. "This agreement with Merck brings us a major step closer to our goal of 3-5 deep collaborations with leading biopharmas to complement our internal therapeutic pipeline." “This agreement with BigHat expands Merck’s strategy of applying AI/ML across our drug discovery capabilities. We look forward to working with the team to leverage BigHat’s technology and expertise in enabling molecular design of novel biologic candidates.” Juan Alvarez, vice president of Biologics Discovery, Merck Research Laboratories About BigHat Biosciences, Inc. BigHat Biosciences is designing safer, more effective antibody therapies for patients using machine learning and synthetic biology. BigHat integrates a wet lab for high-speed characterization with machine learning technologies to guide the search for better antibodies. They apply these design capabilities to develop new generations of safer and more effective treatments for patients suffering from today’s most challenging diseases. BigHat is a Series B biotech outside San Francisco with a team-oriented, inclusive, and family-friendly culture. BigHat’s broad pipeline of wholly-owned and partnered therapeutic programs span many disparate indications with high unmet need, such as cancer, inflammation, and infectious disease. BigHat has raised over $100M from top investors, including Section 32, a16z, and 8VC.

Read More