SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., May 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Agenovir Corporation, a company using computationally engineered nuclease technology to develop novel antiviral therapeutics, today announced that it raised $10.6 million in a Series A financing. The round was led by Data Collective with participation from Celgene Corporation, Lightspeed Venture Partners and several prominent individual and other investors.
"With this financing led by top tier venture, corporate and individual investors, we expect to build an exceptional leadership team and accelerate our research and development programs to treat diseases associated or caused by latent or persistent viral reservoirs," said Bruce Hironaka, founding CEO and Director of Agenovir.
Agenovir was founded based on technology developed in the laboratory of Stephen Quake, D.Phil., professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics, Stanford University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The company is using CRISPR/Cas9 and other nucleases designed, engineered, and simulated in silico at massive scale to disrupt intracellular viral DNA. By interfering at the level of DNA, it may be possible to treat and eliminate persistent viral reservoirs for which there are no current treatments. As a proof of concept, the company has generated data for several viruses that demonstrate infection-specific cell death following delivery of nucleases to human cells.
"Agenovir is at the cutting edge of scientific research, leading the industry in developing a new and innovative approach to treat persistent viral diseases that we believe will fundamentally change the therapeutic paradigm," said Matt Ocko, co-Managing Partner of Data Collective and a member of the board of directors at Agenovir. "We at DCVC look forward to partnering with the company as they augment their infrastructure, continue to build up their considerable intellectual property portfolio, and most importantly, advance key therapeutic candidates into clinical development to truly make a difference in the lives of patients."
Agenovir is a leader in the research and development of a novel class of human therapeutics to address diseases associated with or caused by latent or persistent viral reservoirs. The individuals affected by these diseases number in the millions, and treatment options are extremely limited or non-existent. Using its deep virology expertise and targeted genome editing technologies, Agenovir's mission is to develop innovative treatments that disrupt or eliminate pathogenic viral genomes, bringing hope to patients who suffer from devastating, persistent viral infection.
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SOURCE Agenovir Corporation