Kriya Raises $100 M Series B For AAV-Based Gene Therapies
Patient Square Capital led the round with participation from new investors Woodline Partners, CAM Capital, Hongkou, Alumni Ventures and others. Existing investors also took part, including QVT, Dexcel Pharma, Foresite Capital, Bluebird Ventures, Transhuman Capital, Narya Capital, Amplo and JDRF T1D Fund.
Kriya is one of BioSpace’s NextGen Bio “Class of 2021” life sciences startups to watch. In May 2020, it closed on an $80.5 million Series A financing. Its pipeline includes multiple AAV-based gene therapies for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, severe obesity, and other indications.
KT-A112 is a gene therapy to produce insulin and glucokinase for type 1 and 2 diabetes. KT-A522 is a gene therapy administered by salivary gland injection that carries the gene to produce a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist for type 2 diabetes and severe obesity. And KT-A832 is a gene therapy that delivers the gene to produce modified insulin growth factor 1 (IGF-1) for type 1 diabetes.
“In recent years, we have seen the promise of gene therapy become a reality for the treatment of a number of devastating diseases,” said Shankar Ramaswamy, co-founder and chief executive officer of Kriya.
“However, the field has been constrained by critical limitations in manufacturing technology, vector design capabilities and cost. Kriya was formed with the mission of revolutionizing how gene therapies are designed, developed and produced by fully integrating advanced manufacturing technologies, computational tools and development capabilities within a single company,” Ramaswamy continued.
As part of the financing, Jim Momtazee, managing partner of Patient Square Capital, will join Kriya’s board of directors.
“We believe that gene therapy will have transformative impact on medicine over time, and companies that are able to integrate platform capabilities delivering better treatments, lower cost and broader applications of the technology are going to drive that innovation,” Momtazee said. “With that vision, we are incredibly excited to partner with the management team at Kriya to bring multiple important medicines to patients.”
In August 2020, the company announced it had secured a manufacturing facility in Research Triangle Park to support its pipeline production. The facility is 51,350 square feet and designed with a fully integrated process development lab, quality control and analytical development capability, pilot production suite, and current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) production infrastructure. It plans to manufacture its gene therapies at the site via its scalable suspension cell culture manufacturing process at up to a 2,000-liter bioreactor scale.
At the time, Britt Petty, Kriya’s chief manufacturing officer, said, “Manufacturing continues to be a critical bottleneck to the advancement of gene therapies for prevalent diseases. With the establishment of our cGMP manufacturing facility in North Carolina, we are preparing to have the capacity to support our pipeline of programs addressing large patient populations, from initial INDs through late-phase clinical studies. Moreover, we are investing in process innovation and scalable infrastructure with the goal of reducing the costs of goods of our therapies by orders of magnitude.”