PALO ALTO, Calif. and DURHAM, N.C., May 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Kriya Therapeutics announced today that it has raised $80.5 million in a Series A financing to fund the development of transformative gene therapies for highly prevalent serious diseases. Kriya was formed in the fourth quarter of 2019 and has an industry-leading gene therapy team that includes former senior leadership from Spark Therapeutics, AveXis, Sangamo Therapeutics, and other gene therapy companies. Kriya's pipeline today includes multiple AAV-based gene therapies for the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, severe obesity, and other indications. The company is located in the Bay Area, California and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and is building a platform infrastructure in partnership with leading academic institutions and industry pioneers.
Series A investors include QVT, Dexcel Pharma, Foresite Capital, Bluebird Ventures (associated with Sutter Hill Ventures), Narya Capital, Amplo, Paul Manning, and Asia Alpha. This Series A round follows an initial seed financing completed by the company in the fourth quarter of 2019 led by Transhuman Capital, who also participated in the Series A round.
Kriya is focused on developing gene therapies for diseases affecting millions of patients, expanding the field of gene therapy beyond rare monogenic disorders. Kriya is targeting diseases where the underlying biology is well-understood, with the goal of rationally designing one-time gene therapies to durably express therapeutic proteins within the appropriate human tissues.
"There have been numerous successful gene therapies focused on rare monogenic diseases in recent years," said Shankar Ramaswamy, M.D., Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Kriya Therapeutics. "We see tremendous potential to expand the field and apply gene therapy to highly prevalent serious diseases. We are focused on designing gene therapies using algorithmic tools, scalable infrastructure, and proprietary technology to optimize the efficacy and durability of our treatments. We look forward to accelerating the development of our pipeline, platform technologies, and internal GMP manufacturing capability with the funds raised in this Series A financing."
Kriya's initial pipeline includes multiple AAV-based gene therapies for the treatment of metabolic diseases including type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and severe obesity:
- KT-A112 is an investigational gene therapy administered by intramuscular injection that delivers the genes to produce insulin and glucokinase for type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
- KT-A522 is an investigational gene therapy administered by salivary gland injection that delivers the gene to produce a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist for type 2 diabetes and severe obesity.
- KT-A832 is an investigational gene therapy administered by intrapancreatic injection that delivers the gene to produce modified insulin growth factor 1 (IGF-1) for type 1 diabetes.
Kriya's founders and leadership team have deep experience in the design, development and manufacturing of successful gene therapies and biological medicines:
- Shankar Ramaswamy, M.D. – Co-Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer. Former member of early team of Roivant Sciences and Chief Business Officer of Axovant Gene Therapies
- Roger Jeffs, Ph.D. – Co-Founder and Vice Chairman. Former Co-Chief Executive Officer of United Therapeutics, and former board member of Sangamo Therapeutics
- John Fraser Wright, Ph.D. – Scientific Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Advisor. Professor of Pediatrics in the Center for Definitive and Curative Medicine at Stanford University, and Co-Founder and former Chief Technology Officer of Spark Therapeutics
- Melissa Rhodes, Ph.D., D.A.B.T. – Chief Development Officer. Former Chief Development Officer of Altavant Sciences and Aerami Therapeutics
- Britt Petty – Chief Manufacturing Officer. Former Chief Technical Officer and Head of Global Manufacturing at AveXis, a Novartis company
- Daniel Chen – Chief Financial Officer. Former Vice President of Business Planning and Corporate Strategy at Portola Pharmaceuticals
- Mitch Lower – Vice President of Technical Operations. Former Vice President of Global Engineering and Facilities at AveXis, a Novartis company
- Zhu Pirot, Ph.D. – Vice President of Translational Sciences. Former Head of Analytical Method Development, CMC lead at Sangamo Therapeutics
- Brian Furmanski, Ph.D. – Vice President of Regulatory Affairs. Former Senior Clinical Pharmacology Reviewer at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Nachi Gupta, M.D., Ph.D. – Chief of Staff. Board-Certified Emergency Medicine Physician
"Kriya is building a leading team and cutting-edge infrastructure to engineer best-in-class gene therapies for severe chronic conditions and accelerate their advancement into human clinical trials," said Roger Jeffs, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Vice Chairman of Kriya. "The company is committed to incorporating the latest advancements in the field into the design and development of its therapeutic constructs. Through its R&D laboratory capabilities in the Bay Area and in-house process development and manufacturing infrastructure in Research Triangle Park, I believe that Kriya will be uniquely positioned to become a leader in the gene therapy field."
About Kriya Therapeutics
Kriya Therapeutics is a next-generation gene therapy company focused on designing and developing transformative gene therapies for highly prevalent serious diseases. With core operations in the Bay Area, California and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, Kriya is establishing a platform for the development of gene therapies targeting serious chronic diseases affecting millions of patients. The company's initial pipeline includes multiple programs for the treatment of metabolic diseases including type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and severe obesity. For more information, please visit www.kriyatx.com.
Nachi Gupta, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief of Staff
SOURCE Kriya Therapeutics