RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Kriya Therapeutics is pushing ahead with its massive scaling plans after adding $270 million to its coffers, it confirmed on Monday.  That brings its total raised to date to roughly $450 million for novel gene therapies.

The biotech startup with dual headquarters in the Triangle and Palo Alto raised $100 million in capital in 2021 and another $80.5 million in 2020.

The Series C financing was led by Patient Square Capital, with participation from Bluebird Ventures, CAM Capital, Dexcel Pharma, Foresite Capital, JDRF T1D Fund, Lightswitch Capital, Narya Capital, QVT, Transhuman Capital, and other undisclosed investors.

Kriya said proceeds from this financing will support the advancement of its diverse pipeline and continued scaling of its engineering, manufacturing, and computational platforms.

“We already have robust infrastructure in place and with this financing we are well capitalized to continue with growth and progress on all fronts,” Shankar Ramaswamy, M.D., Kriya’s co-founder and chief executive officer, told the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

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Deep connections to Triangle

Launched in 2019, Kriya is the brainchild of Ramaswamy, former chief business officer for Axovant Gene Therapies; Fraser Wright, co-founder of Sparks Therapeutics; and Roger Jeffs, the former United Therapeutics CEO who has deep roots in North Carolina.

It has billed itself as a next-generation gene therapy company focused on designing and developing treatments for highly prevalent and severe chronic conditions, like diabetes and obesity.

In recent months, Kriya said it has hit several milestones. Among them: acquiring Durham-based Warden Bio, a startup developing novel adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated gene therapies for glycogen storage disorders (GSDs), in January.

The gene therapy is based on research led by Duke University’s Priya Kishnani, M.D., and Aravind Asokan, Ph.D., and includes a portfolio of five investigational programs for GSDs that have no existing FDA-approved treatments available.

It’s also scaled its machine learning-enabled technology and cloud computing platform called SIRVE, which supports the integration of large datasets generated by the company’s high throughput screening, next generation sequencing, and algorithmic data mining platforms, the company said in its release.

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Continuing expansion

Kriya currently has 160 employees and labs and offices in the Bay Area.  Its RTP infrastructure is split across two sites focused on manufacturing, research, and development.

Ramaswamy said the company is looking to expand its footprint in both RTP and the Bay Area. “We hire wherever the talent is,” he said, adding that the company has established an initiative aimed at recruiting recent graduates and student interns from local universities in North Carolina. “It is truly a win-win.”

Jim Momtazee, managing partner of Patient Square Capital and Kriya board member, has applauded the company’s efforts.

“Kriya has made tremendous strides over the past few years, attracting world-class talent, expanding its pipeline, and scaling the infrastructure necessary to unlock the full potential of gene therapy,” he said.  “We believe the company has the potential to be the clear leader in the evolving gene therapy field, consistent with Patient Square Capital’s focus to build and support category leading companies in health care.”


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