iECURE, a genetics startup based in Philadelphia, has announced the closing of a $50 million Series A funding round.
The round, which was led by Versant Ventures and OrbiMed Advisors, will allow the startup to continue developing its mutation-agnostic in vivo gene editing solutions. Tom Woiwode, Ph.D., managing director at Versant Ventures, referred to the firm’s investment by stating:
“Versant has made several important investments in the gene-editing space, including founding Crispr Therapeutics and Graphite Therapeutics, and we believe that iECURE represents the next wave of innovation in this space. We’re thrilled to be working with Jim and his team, as well as with our colleagues at OrbiMed and the founding team at iECURE, to push forward these breakthrough therapeutic approaches for patients suffering from liver disorders.”
iECURE is planning on accelerating its growth by focusing on its pipeline of 13 products and establishing partnerships with research institutions like the Gene Therapy Program of the University of Pennsylvania. Joseph Truitt, chief executive officer of iECURE, referred to this partnership by saying:
“Through our foundational collaboration with Penn, we are gaining access to a comprehensive, liver-focused, in vivo gene editing program that Dr. Wilson and his team have been developing in his labs for several years,” said Joseph Truitt, chief executive officer of iECURE. “We are excited to partner with Penn to develop potentially groundbreaking treatments for patients suffering from debilitating disorders of the liver.”
With the field of genetic therapy continuing to grow each year, in vivo solutions have become a major focus of research in the HealthTech industry. iECURE believes that its groundbreaking strategy of inserting healthy copies of disease-causing genes has the potential to provide revolutionary benefits for the treatment of multiple diseases.
Liver diseases account for more than 2 million deaths per year on a global scale, which is why the genetics startup has decided to focus on dividing the liver tissue of young children. As the entirety of the gene is inserted into the patient’s chromosomes, this technology can provide therapeutic benefits without being limited by the specific disease behind the liver damage.