BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--WAVE Life Sciences, a genetic medicine company focused on advancing first-in-class stereopure nucleic acid therapies for patients impacted by rare diseases, today announced the completion of an oversubscribed $66 million Series B preferred stock financing. The round was led by new investor Foresite Capital. Additional new investors included Fidelity Management and Research Company, New Leaf Venture Partners, Redmile Group, Jennison Associates (on behalf of certain clients), Cormorant Asset Management, and certain private investment funds advised by Clough Capital Partners L.P. RA Capital Management, a lead investor in WAVE’s Series A financing, participated significantly in the Series B round, joined by other Series A investor Kagoshima Shinsangyo Sosei Investment. Leerink Partners LLC acted as the exclusive placement agent to the company for the offering.
“We are excited to welcome Foresite Capital and a broad base of other leading investors into this financing round as we continue to focus on translating the promise of nucleic acid therapeutics into new treatment options for patients,” said Paul Bolno, M.D., MBA, president and chief executive officer at WAVE Life Sciences. “We believe WAVE’s antisense and exon-skipping candidates have the potential to deliver enhanced efficacy and safety for patients across a number of diseases compared to other approved and investigational nucleic acid therapies. In addition, we are particularly excited about our allele-specific development programs, which hold the promise of targeting the root genetic cause of over a dozen gain-of-function orphan disorders which we believe are well suited to our proprietary chemistry.”
WAVE expects to use the proceeds from the Series B financing to continue to evolve its chemistry platform and advance a broad pipeline of stereopure nucleic acid therapeutics, including candidates for Huntington’s disease and Duchenne muscular dystrophy, across a breadth of oligonucleotide modalities, including RNAi, antisense and exon-skipping, among others. The company plans to file its first INDs by the end of 2016.
To date, nucleic acid therapeutics have been comprised of complex mixtures of often hundreds of thousands of chemical entities known as stereoisomers. Some stereoisomers in these mixtures have therapeutic effects, while others are less beneficial or contribute to undesirable side effects. Uncontrolled stereoisomer drug mixtures can lead to suboptimal efficacy and increase risk and safety concerns – historical and persistent challenges in the design and successful development of nucleic acid therapies.
With its novel chemistry, WAVE is able to eliminate these complex mixtures, giving the company control over the pharmacology of its stereopure medicines in development. Rationally designed, WAVE’s nucleic acid therapies are being developed to precisely target underlying disease biology in order to yield improved activity, stability, specificity and immunogenicity, maximizing therapeutic effect while minimizing the potential for side effects and safety risks.
“WAVE was founded on the premise that chirally pure nucleic acid therapies could overcome key challenges that have impeded realization of the full potential of this important, emerging area of medicine,” said Gregory Verdine, Ph.D., Founder, and Chairman of WAVE’s Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board. “It is gratifying to witness the evolution of the company as it continues its march toward the clinic led by a solid, experienced management team and driven by a mission to bring new medicines to patients impacted by rare, often devastating genetic disorders.”
About WAVE Life Sciences
WAVE Life Sciences is utilizing its innovative and proprietary synthetic chemistry drug development platform to design, develop and commercialize stereopure nucleic acid therapeutics that precisely target the underlying cause of rare genetic diseases, delivering new treatment options for patients. Given the versatility of its chemistry platform, WAVE’s pipeline is designed to span multiple oligonucleotide modalities including antisense, exon-skipping and single-stranded RNAi. For more information, please visit www.wavelifesciences.com.