Affinia Therapeutics, Waltham-based biotech is working on gene therapies to treat diseases using technology developed at Massachusetts Eye and Ear has raised $110 million in a new venture capital round.Affinia Therapeutics was founded in 2019 based on work pioneered by Luk Vandenberghe, an associate professor at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School. It plans to use the money to advance its gene therapy technology and move experimental drug programs into clinical trials.
Gene therapies are among the most promising, if technologically challenging, areas of medicine. By engineering a virus to carry functioning genes to cells to compensate for defective ones, drug makers have developed several revolutionary treatments for devastating genetic diseases, from a rare neurodegenerative disorder to a form of blindness.
The treatments can be breathtakingly expensive, with price tags of $1 million or more. Proponents say expensive medicines may be cost-effective by curing debilitating diseases that strain the healthcare system treated for years with conventional drugs and hospitalizations. The $110 million raised by Affinia supplements $60 million in financing that the firm announced in March of last year. The latest round was led by EcoR1 Capital and Farallon Capital Management, both based in San Francisco.
Rick Modi, chief executive officer at Affinia Therapeutics said that our calling is to broaden the reach of gene therapies for patients in need, and this starts with our proven leadership team. Members of our team have been at the forefront of the field and come from a variety of eminent organizations to innovate in the gene therapy science and programs at Affinia Therapeutics.