RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Warden Bio, a startup with ties to Duke University, has been bought by Kriya, a gene therapy company with operations in RTP and in Silicon Valley that raised $100 million in 2021.

The companies announced the deal in a statement last week.  Warden Bio co-founder Kunal Kishnani, an Elon University alumnus, will become the president of Kriya’s newly formed rare disease division as well as lead overall strategic, development, and partnership activities.

Kriya is a gene therapy company, and in the deal, obtained exclusive rights to Warden Bio’s five preclinical gene therapy programs.

Warden Bio is developing novel adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated gene therapies for glycogen storage disorders, which the company statement says are “a group of rare disorders caused by distinct single enzyme deficiencies involved in the synthesis or breakdown of glycogen.”

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Its therapies were originally developed at Duke University in a lab headed by Dr. Priya Kishnani, a Chen Family Distinguished Professor & Division Chief for Medical Genetics at Duke University, and in close collaboration with Dr. Aravind Asokan, Professor & Director of Gene Therapy at Duke University and co-founder of StrideBio, both of whom will become science advisors to Kriya following the deal.

“We are incredibly enthusiastic about the compelling research that has led to the development of Warden Bio’s pioneering gene therapies for GSDs,” said Shankar Ramaswamy, M.D., co-founder and CEO of Kriya.  “This acquisition and the establishment of our Rare Disease Division align with our commitment to accelerating the advancement of best-in-class gene therapies.”

Kriya has operations in Silicon Valley as well as Research Triangle Park, and raised a Series A round of $80.5 million in 2020.  Warden Bio launched in 2021.  Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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