CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Triplet Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company harnessing human genetics to develop treatments for repeat expansion disorders at their source, launched today with $59 million in financing including a $49 million Series A financing led by MPM Capital and Pfizer Ventures U.S. LLC, the venture capital arm of Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE). Atlas Venture, which co-founded and seeded Triplet with a $10 million investment, also participated in the Series A alongside Invus, Partners Innovation Fund and Alexandria Venture Investments.
Triplet was founded in 2018 by Nessan Bermingham, Ph.D., a serial biotech entrepreneur and venture partner at Atlas Venture, along with Atlas Venture and Andrew Fraley, Ph.D., to pursue a transformative approach to developing treatments for repeat expansion disorders, a group of more than 40 known genetic diseases associated with expanded DNA nucleotide repeats. A significant body of human genetic evidence has identified that one central pathway, known as the DNA damage response (DDR) pathway, drives onset and progression of this group of disorders, which include Huntington’s disease, myotonic dystrophy and various spinocerebellar ataxias.
Triplet is developing antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) and small interfering RNA (siRNA) development candidates to precisely knock down key components of the DDR pathway that drive repeat expansion. This approach operates upstream of current approaches in development, targeting the fundamental driver of these diseases. By precisely reducing activity of select DDR targets, Triplet’s approach is designed to halt onset and progression across a wide range of repeat expansion disorders.
The company has a fully assembled senior management team of industry veterans. Nessan Bermingham, Ph.D., co-founder, president and chief executive officer, has nearly two decades of experience leading life science startups and is a co-founder of Intellia Therapeutics and Korro Bio. Irina Antonijevic, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president of development, previously led translational medicine and early development at Wave Life Sciences. Brian Bettencourt, Ph.D., senior vice president of computational biology & statistics, comes to Triplet from Translate Bio, where he led modeling and design of oligonucleotide and mRNA therapeutics. David Morrissey, Ph.D., senior vice president of technology, formerly led technology development and delivery of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing candidates at Intellia Therapeutics. Eric Sullivan, CPA, chief financial officer, brings experience leading financial operations at Gemini Therapeutics and bluebird bio. Jeffrey M. Cerio, Pharm.D., J.D., senior vice president & general counsel, served as senior corporate counsel at Moderna, Inc. before joining the Triplet team.
“We’re excited to launch Triplet today to transform the treatment of repeat expansion disorders,” Dr. Bermingham said. “This milestone would not have been possible without the contributions of thousands of patients, whose participation in genetic research has enabled us to build a fundamentally new understanding of the cause of these diseases. With this financing we are positioned to rapidly advance our initial development candidates toward the clinic for patients.”
The company will use the Series A funds to progress its first development candidates into IND-enabling studies, as well as to advance natural history studies to inform its clinical development plan and contribute to the scientific understanding of repeat expansion disorders.
“More than 40 repeat expansion disorders have been identified, and most of these diseases are severe with limited to no treatment options,” said Jean-François Formela, M.D., partner at Atlas Venture and Board Chair of Triplet. “We have built Triplet to fundamentally transform what has been the treatment strategy for these diseases up to now.”
The company’s founding Board of Directors is comprised of:
- Nessan Bermingham, Ph.D., co-founder, president and CEO of Triplet Therapeutics;
- Jean-François Formela, M.D., partner at Atlas Venture and chair of the Board of Directors;
- Shinichiro Fuse, Ph.D., partner at MPM Capital;
- Douglas Kerr, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president, chief development officer at Generation Bio; and
- Laszlo Kiss, Ph.D., Pfizer Ventures partner.
“Triplet’s launch today represents a turning point for the treatment of repeat expansion disorders. I look forward to working with this expert team to develop novel treatments for patients,” said Shinichiro Fuse, Ph.D., partner at MPM Capital and member of Triplet’s Board of Directors.
“This group of severe genetic disorders represents an area of high unmet medical need, and we look forward to working with Triplet’s leadership team as they reimagine the potential treatment paradigm for patients with rare diseases,” said Laszlo Kiss, Ph.D., Pfizer Ventures principal and member of Triplet’s Board of Directors.
Triplet has also formed a Scientific Advisory Board comprised of leading investigators for repeat expansion disorders, including Sarah Tabrizi, Ph.D., professor of clinical neurology at University College London; Jim Gusella, Ph.D., Bullard Professor of Neurogenetics at Harvard Medical School; and Vanessa Wheeler, Ph.D., associate professor of neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
About Triplet Therapeutics
Triplet Therapeutics is a biotechnology company developing transformational treatments for patients with unmet medical needs by leveraging insights of human genetics to target the underlying cause of repeat expansion disorders, a group of more than 40 known genetic diseases including Huntington’s disease, myotonic dystrophy and spinocerebellar ataxias. Triplet was founded by Nessan Bermingham, Ph.D., Atlas Venture and Andrew Fraley, Ph.D. Triplet has raised $59 million in funding to date, including its Series A funding in 2019 led by MPM Capital and Pfizer Ventures, with Atlas Venture, Invus, Partners Innovation Fund and Alexandria Venture Investments participating. Triplet is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, please visit www.triplettx.com.
About Atlas Venture
Atlas Venture is a leading biotech venture capital firm. With the goal of doing well by doing good, we have been building breakthrough biotech startups for over 25 years. We work side by side with exceptional scientists and entrepreneurs to translate high impact science into medicines for patients. Our seed-led venture creation strategy rigorously selects and focuses investment on the most compelling opportunities to build scalable businesses and realize value. For more information, please visit www.atlasventure.com.
About MPM Capital
MPM Capital is a healthcare investment firm founding and investing in life sciences companies that seek to cure major diseases by translating scientific innovations into positive clinical outcomes. MPM invests in breakthrough therapeutics, with a focus on oncology. With its experienced and dedicated team of investment professionals, executive partners, entrepreneurs and scientific advisory board members, MPM is powering novel medical breakthroughs that transform patients’ lives. www.mpmcapital.com