Intergalactic Therapeutics Launches with $75 Million Series A
Intergalactic Therapeutics closed on a Series A funding round worth $75 million. The company was launched by ATP, a life sciences venture capital firm.
Intergalactic has two proprietary technologies that focus on non-viral gene therapy. The first is C3DNA, which is covalently closed and circular DNA that doesn’t integrate into the genome or cause adverse immune reactions. Due to its size, it allows for large gene payloads, which is a common limitation of viral vectors. It is also a cell-free manufacturing process that limits the safety liabilities of conventional gene therapies.
The second is COMET, a pulsed electric field focal gene therapy delivery system.
“Because viral-based gene therapies have technical and clinical limitations, we at ATP created Intergalactic to expand the universe of what is possible in gene therapy,” said Michael Ehlers, founder and chief executive officer of Intergalactic and chief scientific officer and venture partner at ATP.
Ehlers is perhaps best known for being executive vice president of Biogen from April 2016 to October 2019. Since then, he has acted as chief executive officer of Limelight Bio (October 2019–March 2020); founder, president and CEO of Intergalactic; co-founder and board chair of Aulos Biosciences (Nov. 2020–present); co-founder and board chair of Replicate Biosciences (March 2021–present); and his role with ATP.
Ehlers went on to say, “With our C3DNA format, we can express large genes; we can express multiple genes; we have more capacity, allowing us to design modifications that can program and control gene expression; by mimicking host chromatin, we can achieve persistence of expression with the first dose; and we can re-dose. In addition, C3DNA is highly suitable for multiple advanced delivery technologies, including our COMET delivery system that enables focal gene therapy precisely where it is needed. The Intergalactic team is advancing programs to realize the vast potential of this new platform to treat many diseases that were beyond the reach of gene therapy, until now.”
In addition to Ehlers, Jose Lora will be the company’s chief scientific officer. Lora was formerly chief scientific officer of enGene and vice president of Research at Synlogic. Eileen Higham will act as senior vice president, Technical Operations. She was formerly vice president, head of Analytical and Process Development at Sana Biotechnology; head of Analytical and Process Development at Juno Therapeutics, now part of Celgene/Bristol Myers Squibb. Vincent Hennemand is chief operating officer. He was formerly head of Immuno-Inflammation and senior vice president of Strategy, Finance, Corporate and Business Development at Akili Interactive. And Robert Farr will be chief engineer. He was formerly CEO of CeQur.
Founded in 2020 by ATP, Intergalactic is headquartered in Boston. It is focusing its technology platforms on ophthalmology, oncology, and respiratory diseases. It has potential applications in cardiology, hepatology, CNS and musculoskeletal disorders.
“ATP forms companies to scale the scientific platforms that we hope will define the future of medicine, and our model gives us the flexibility to translate science to therapeutics,” said Seth Harrison, founder and managing partner of ATP. “We paired a next-generation synthetic DNA construct with a cutting-edge medical technology that had also emerged in our portfolio, and quickly saw that this combination had the potential to be revolutionary. Thus, Intergalactic was born.”