Zikani Therapeutics announced the close of a $7.5 million Series A-1 financing supported by Advent Life Sciences, Gurnet Point Capital and Roche Venture Fund. Zikani will use the financing to advance its innovative TURBO-ZM chemistry technology platform to develop novel Ribosome Modulating Agents (RMAs) as therapeutics targeting select rare diseases, including inherited diseases and cancers caused by nonsense mutations.
The company has demonstrated positive, pre-clinical data in multiple disease areas, including APC mutant colon cancer, familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), class 1 cystic fibrosis, and recessive dystrophic and junctional epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB and JEB).
“Zikani has generated promising data that validates its TURBO-ZM platform and addresses a completely unmet need in oncology therapeutics: restoring expression of a major tumor suppressor gene,” said Keith Flaherty, M.D., Director of Clinical Research at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and a senior advisor to Zikani.
Ribosomal RNAs form the translation machinery that generates function proteins from genetic sequences. Ribosome modulation provides a therapeutic approach for several diseases, but the development of disease-specific ribosome modulators has been challenging. Zikani’s proprietary platform TURBO-ZM allows rapid synthesis of novel RMAs that can be optimized to target the human ribosome in a disease specific manner.
“We’re highly encouraged by the data we’ve generated to date and are working rapidly to advance compounds into pre-clinical development. This financing, particularly in this volatile financial market, is a vote of confidence for our promising technology platform. As we look ahead, our focus is to maximize the funding and take the steps necessary to generate greater recognition for RMAs and form collaborations with partners that will benefit from our scientific platform,” said Sumit Aggarwal, President and CEO, Zikani Therapeutics.