Netherlands-based InteRNA Technologies, a biopharma company that develops microRNA (miRNA)-based therapeutics for oncology, has announced the close of its Series B round with extended funding of €18.5M in total.
Oncology is a branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.
Investors in the current round
This Series B round was led by AurorA Science, an Italian biotech investment company. Existing investor Waterman Ventures as well as current investors Aglaia Oncology Funds and OostNL also participated in this round.
With this funding, Gabriele Campi, PhD, of AurorA Science will join the InteRNA Technologies’ board of directors.
What is InteRNA Technologies working on?
Led by CEO Roel Schaapveld, InteRNA Technologies is a spin-off from the Hubrecht Institute, Utrecht, Netherlands. It is a clinical-stage biotech company developing products of microRNA (miRNA) therapeutics targeting key processes in the initiation and progression of human diseases, with a focus on cancer.
According to the company, “microRNAs are naturally occurring, non-coding strands of RNA that trigger the RNA interference pathway and regulate gene expression by controlling the efficiency of messenger RNA (mRNA) translation into functional proteins.”
InteRNA claims to design therapies tackling cancer by using the inherent characteristic of microRNAs to simultaneously inhibit multiple mRNA targets in a coordinated fashion, e.g. by blocking activated cancer signalling pathways and preventing activation of alternative disease-promoting pathways.
Selected through InteRNA’s discovery and functional validation platform, miRNA, and enabled with a 3rd generation drug delivery formulation, these miRNA compounds can mount a coordinated anti-cancer attack by engaging multiple signal transduction targets simultaneously.
“With this approach, we address the high need for novel therapeutics with improved efficacy and less prone to drug-acquired resistance that will benefit cancer patients,” said the company in a statement.
Use of the funds
With this raised capital, InteRNA Technologies says it will start the clinical evaluation of its microRNA lead candidate, INT-1B3, in patients with advanced solid tumours. “This successful extension of the Series B financing round validates the unique potential that microRNAs offer as a therapeutic modality for hard-to-treat cancers,” says Dr Roel Schaapveld, CEO of InteRNA Technologies.
In addition to that, the funds will also enable the company to develop and advance additional preclinical drug candidates addressing a variety of cancer indications, hence, expanding its product pipeline.
Dr Schaapveld further claims that he looks forward to evaluating INT-1B3’s unique mode of action, targeting not only the tumour cells themselves but also the disease-promoting tumour microenvironment.”
According to the company, INT-1B3 is a lipid nanoparticle (LNP) formulated, chemically modified miR-193a-3p mimic that can be delivered by systemic administration to cancer cells.
Last year, in May, InteRNA Technologies received regulatory approvals in the Netherlands and Belgium for the initiation of the first-in-human (Phase I) clinical trial testing its lead microRNA candidate, INT-1B3, in patients with advanced solid tumours.