Amber is leveraging a multi-kilobase RNA editing platform to expand the reach of treatable pathogenic variants.
The Retinal Degeneration Fund, the venture arm of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, announced its participation in a $26 million Series Seed financing for Amber Bio to support its RNA-editing platform.
According to a Foundation Fighting Blindness news release, Amber is leveraging a multi-kilobase RNA editing platform to expand the reach of treatable pathogenic variants.
The foundation noted in its news release the seed financing was driven by Playground Global and Andreessen Horowitz Bio + Health. Lilly Venture Sciences, Hummingbird Ventures, and Pillar VC also participated in the round alongside the RD Fund.
Jacob Borrajo, PhD, CEO, and co-founder at Amber Bio, said the company is pleased to be partnering with RD Fund and the Foundation Fighting Blindness to develop therapeutics to overcome retinal disorders.
“This partnership brings world-renowned experts in retinal biology and retinal therapeutic development to join in Amber Bio's mission,” he said in the news release.
The funding will be used to advance a first-of-its-kind RNA editing platform which enables multi-kilobase edits, allowing a single drug to treat diseases with high allelic diversity. Among other therapeutic areas, Amber Bio is interested in applying its technologies toward inherited retinal diseases that arise from a diverse set of mutations.
Rusty Kelley, PhD, managing director at the RD Fund, cited its desire to be a part of a strong, diverse syndicate to support Amber's skilled leadership team and their ability to design and improve a novel system for rewriting RNA,
“The retina transcriptome that includes larger genes with many disease-causing variants is ripe for accurate, efficient and durable RNA targeting, and with reduced toxicity that may result from genomic editing,” he said in the news release.
According to the news release, the Retinal Degeneration Fund is the venture arm of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and a leading investor in the retinal disease space. It was formed in 2018 to serve the foundation's mission to rapidly drive research toward preventions, treatments, and cures for the entire spectrum of blinding retinal diseases including retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, and Usher syndrome. The RD Fund focuses on mission-related investments in companies with projects nearing clinical testing.