ViaNautis Bio announces $25 million Series A financing to drive the next generation of genetic nanomedicines


ViaNautis Bio announces $25 million Series A financing to drive the next generation of genetic nanomedicines

  • ViaNautis’s proprietary drug delivery platform polyNaut® is designed to deliver genetic therapeutic payloads across difficult-to-penetrate biological barriers, developing new medicines for diseases with unmet clinical need
  • Series A led by 4BIO Capital, BGF, and UCB Ventures with participation from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Eli Lilly and Company and existing investors including Origin Capital, Meltwind and O2H

ViaNautis Bio (“ViaNautis” or the “Company”), a groundbreaking nanomedicine company at the forefront of genetic therapies, is excited to announce the successful completion of its Series A funding round, raising $25 million (£20 million). Formerly known as SomaServe, ViaNautis has secured support from a consortium of prominent global investors enabling the advancement of its proprietary drug delivery platform – polyNaut®.

ViaNautis’s Series A fundraise was led by 4BIO Capital, BGF and UCB Ventures with the additional participation of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Eli Lilly and Company and existing investors including Origin Capital, Meltwind and O2H. The proceeds from the round will fuel the rapid development of products using the polyNaut® platform, expand the scientific and management teams and establish industry-leading laboratory facilities.

ViaNautis’s polyNaut® platform applies advanced polymer materials and in silico screening to precisely guide genetic molecules such as pDNA, mRNA, siRNA and ASOs to their intended targets. Unlike conventional drug delivery methods, polyNaut® tackles the challenge of transporting genetic materials across biological barriers, advancing medicines for conditions with pressing unmet clinical needs, such as Cystic Fibrosis - a multisystemic disease affecting the lungs, pancreas, and other organs - and central nervous system (CNS) diseases. The company’s pipeline includes VNS002, supported by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, focusing on identifying optimal formulation candidates for targeted delivery to the conducting airways in the lungs.

ViaNautis was spun out of UCL in 2018 by co-founders Dr Francesca Crawford, Dr Denis Cecchin, and Professor Giuseppe Battaglia, inventor of polyNaut® and honorary professor at UCL. Professor Battaglia is also an ICREA professor and head of the Molecular Bionics Group at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, part of the Barcelona Institute for Science and Technology (IBEC).

Francesca Crawford, CEO of ViaNautis, commented: "This successful fundraise empowers us to expedite the deployment of our proprietary polyNaut® technology, which offers unparalleled access to the brain and other tissues, presenting significant opportunities to address both CNS and lung diseases. We are delighted to welcome our new investors and appreciate the support of our existing shareholders. We are also proud to be working with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation on one of our key pipeline programmes, underscoring our commitment to advancing treatments for people with cystic fibrosis and other unmet clinical needs. This fundraise marks a pivotal moment in ViaNautis’s journey and we look forward to advancing the field of gene therapy, while creating substantial value for our shareholders.”

Owen Smith, Partner at 4BIO Capital, commented: “As the cell and gene therapy field gains momentum, it is evident that safe and precise delivery remains a key bottleneck in developing new therapeutics. ViaNautis presents an excellent opportunity in the world of genetic therapies by enabling the delivery of cargoes to otherwise inaccessible sites of action in the body. The polyNaut® technology overcomes the limitations of other drug delivery methods and presents a unique pathway to developing a new generation of genetic medicines for patients with few or no other treatment options.”

Lucy Edwardes Jones, Investor at BGF, commented: "ViaNautis’s polyNaut® technology represents a unique opportunity in the field of genetic therapies. This breakthrough creates a path for the development of innovative treatments for diseases that have remained unaddressed for too long. We are looking forward to supporting the team's ambitious plans and collaborating closely with our co-investors to see this technology through to impact.”

Steven Biesmans, Principal at UCB Ventures, commented: "Being part of ViaNautis’s journey, we're excited about the immense promise of the polyNaut® technology. It opens a plethora of novel prospects in the world of genetic therapies, offering the ability to reach previously inaccessible treatment sites. PolyNaut® addresses a critical need, as many patients currently have limited or no treatment options.”


Published: 13.11.23

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