Dallas Biopharma ReCode Therapeutics Closes $80M Series B Round to Expand Drug Pipeline for Respiratory Diseases

The funding, which was co-led by Pfizer Ventures and EcoR1 Capital, will help drive ReCode's therapy programs for primary ciliary dyskinesia and cystic fibrosis into human clinical studies.

Dallas-based ReCode Therapeutics, a biopharma that uses its proprietary non-viral lipid nanoparticle delivery platform in disease-modifying genetic medicines, has closed $80 million in Series B financing.

The oversubscribed funding round was co-led by Pfizer Ventures, the venture capital arm of COVID-19 vaccine maker Pfizer, and EcoR1 Capital, a biotech-focused investment advisory firm based in San Francisco.

Additional participation came from new investors: Sanofi Ventures, funds managed by Tekla Capital Management LLC, Superstring Capital, and NS Investment. More came from existing ones: OrbiMed, Vida Ventures, MPM Capital, Colt Ventures, Hunt Technology Ventures, L.P., and Osage University Partners. 

Many of these are known for backing innovative biotechnology companies.

With the deal, Rana Al-Hallaq, Ph.D., a partner at Pfizer Ventures and executive director for Pfizer Worldwide Business Development, will join ReCode’s board of directors. He said he and his team believe ReCode’s lipid nanoparticle platform could “significantly expand the potential of genetic medicine across therapeutic areas.”

Oleg Nodelman, founder and portfolio manager of EcoR1 Capital, will also join the Board. He echoed Al-Hallaq’s forward-looking optimism.

“ReCode’s platform has the potential to unlock vast capabilities unaddressable by first-generation mRNA and gene editing programs and enable development of therapeutics for patients with diseases that have historically been untreatable,” Nodelman said in a statement.

ReCode to expand its pipeline of therapies

ReCode, which is co-located in Menlo Park, California, will use the capital to advance two key mRNA and gene correction therapy programs—for primary ciliary dyskinesia and cystic fibrosis—into human clinical studies. It also wants to build its pipeline of treatment options for patients who have life-limiting genetic respiratory diseases.

It will also expand manufacturing capabilities to support the advancement of these research and clinical programs.

David Lockhart, Ph.D., the CEO and president of ReCode, said the funding will allow him and his team to accelerate the delivery of medicine to patients with genetic respiratory diseases who are in need of options. That includes those with primary ciliary dyskinesia and cystic fibrosis.

“ReCode is working to unleash the power of genetic medicine by delivering therapies with our novel lipid nanoparticle platform,” he said, “which has the potential to reach across a broad spectrum of diseases involving multiple organs and tissues.”

Targeting respiratory diseases

The lipid nanoparticle (LNP) platform is what ReCode uses to generate its lineup of therapies that target the lung, liver, and other extra-hepatic tissues. It’s for the organ-specific delivery of RNA and gene correction therapies.

Primary ciliary dyskinesia and cystic fibrosis are genetic respiratory diseases that have similar effects on the lungs. ReCode’s lead programs are focused on both, and the company has gained headway recently.

Here’s what ReCode said about its preclinical trials:

Recent preclinical data from the company’s RNA-based cystic fibrosis program showed that its LNPs can deliver CFTR mRNA that restores cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) function in the CF patient-derived hBE cell model.

Preclinical data from the company’s inhaled mRNA-based program for the treatment of primary ciliary dyskinesia demonstrated that its LNP formulations successfully delivered DNAI1 mRNA to target airway epithelial cells in hBEs, mice and NHPs, and that robust ciliary activity was restored in treated DNAI1-deficient hBE cells.

The Series B will also go toward advancing the LNP platform.

ReCode raises another $80M

The Series B follows an oversubscribed $80 million Series A ReCode raised last March. At the time, it was the largest funding round to come out of Dallas-Fort Worth.

That funding was also meant to advance the treatment of primary ciliary dyskinesia and cystic fibrosis.

As part of the deal, ReCode merged with TranscripTx, a Menlo Park, California, biotech that focuses on primary ciliary dyskinesia. It was announced that TranscriptTX CEO David Lockhart would help run the combined company from California.

ReCode Therapeutics’ roots date back to a research project by its founders, Daniel Siegwart and Philip Thomas, at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Today, it’s an integrated genetic medicines company that uses the LNP technology to target organs and tissues beyond the liver.

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