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ADARx Pharmaceuticals gets Lilly Asia Ventures to Chip In

OrbiMed Advisors and Lilly Asia Ventures are two important investors in ADARx Pharmaceuticals $75 million series B financing, putting money into RNA-targeting technologies. According to a statement released on Wednesday, the funds will help ADARx advance its burgeoning pipeline of RNA-targeting therapies into clinical trials. OrbiMed and SR One Capital led the financing, with Sirona Capital and Lilly Asia Ventures also participating.

ADARx Pharmaceuticals is working on an RNA-targeting platform that will contain oligonucleotides for inhibiting, degrading, and editing RNA. The organization is working on nine different programs in genetics, cardiometabolic disease, and central nervous system disease. It’s working on its first editing tool for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD), a rare genetic defect that can cause lung and liver illness.

President and CEO Zhen Li and Vice President of Discovery Biology Tim Young, who worked on cystic fibrosis studies at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, led the ADARx Pharmaceuticals team. After leading the discovery and nonclinical development of Arrowhead’s RNAi delivery platform and other pharmaceutical candidates as a senior vice president at Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Li co-founded ADARx.

RNA editing has seen a surge in interest in recent years, with Big Pharma and entrepreneurial investors investing in the field. Unlike gene-editing techniques that alter DNA, firms like ADARx change the molecules that carry DNA’s instructions for producing proteins. Thus, without permanently modifying a person’s DNA, this technology allows corporations to fix the faulty or harmful proteins that emerge from disease-causing mutations.Eli Lilly announced a $50 million upfront arrangement with ProQR to work on up to five targets utilizing their RNA technology in a transaction worth $1.25 billion in biobucks down the road. Last month, Roche also partnered with Shape Therapeutics on Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and rare illness medicines.

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