Press "Enter" to skip to content

Pfizer Accompanies an mRNA Biotech ReCode

With its BioNTech-partnered COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer knows a thing or two about mRNA. So, Big Pharma is doubling down in a hot industry by investing in ReCode Therapeutics’ $80 million series B. Pfizer Ventures, and EcoR1 Capital led the financing. It matched the size of the mRNA biotech’s series A round in March 2020. Sanofi’s venture capital arm, along with roughly a dozen other sponsors, participated in the round.

The funds will be used to fund phase 1 investigations of ReCode’s leadership initiatives in cystic fibrosis and primary ciliary dyskinesia, a lung illness. PCD is similar to CF in that it is caused by a set of genetic changes that lead individuals to lack a protein that builds up cilia, which is an essential element of your airways. ReCode would be in the clinic for both programs by late 2021, according to CEO David Lockhart, Ph.D., who told Fierce Biotech at the time of the series A.

Last month, the California and Texas biotech made a big step forward by appointing Nicholas France, M.D., as senior vice president of clinical development. Before that, France was the chief of clinical research at Escape Bio. The CF initiative at ReCode uses nonviral lipid nanoparticles to transfer mRNA to the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator to restore function. Mucus builds up in the lungs due to so-called “nonsense mutations” in that gene, causing inflammation, respiratory failure, and other consequences.

Arcturus Therapeutics is also developing a CF drug based on mRNA. Through its $3.2 billion acquisition of Translate Bio, Sanofi, an investor in ReCode, has a possible mRNA cure for cystic fibrosis. However, in March, a phase 1/2 trial demonstrated no pattern of improvement in lung function for people with CF, which disappointed investors.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *