Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Penn spinout comes out of stealth with $50M to advance novel in vivo gene editing approach

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: September 15th, 2021

A University of Pennsylvania (Penn) spinout has emerged from stealth mode with $50 million in Series A funding to develop and commercialize a novel gene-insertion technology.

iECURE is based on the research of Penn professor and gene therapy pioneer Jim Wilson, who has developed an in vivo approach that inserts genes inside the organs of living patients. Wilson’s approach is also mutation agnostic, which is crucial given that many genetic diseases can have hundreds of individual mutations.

iECURE will use the $50 million to develop a slate of gene insertion programs for liver disorders. Wilson’s lab will provide the preclinical, toxicology and manufacturing support, and iECURE will handle regulatory filings and move the therapies from the lab to the marketplace.

According to iECURE CEO Joseph Truitt, working with Wilson’s lab has become one of the start-up’s most valuable assets. And by getting access to his team, iECURE doesn’t have to recruit dozens of employees.

“It’s a much more mature company than you would typically start off with if you were just licensing some technology from an academic center,” Truitt says.

Versant Ventures, which has backed gene-editing companies CRISPR Therapeutics and Graphite Bio, led the Series A funding round alongside OrbiMed Advisors.

Source: Fierce Biotech

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