CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Verve Therapeutics, a biotech company pioneering gene editing medicines to treat cardiovascular disease, today announced the successful completion of a $94 million Series B financing, led by Wellington Management Company and co-led by Casdin Capital, existing investors. New investors in the raise included Redmile Group, Janus Henderson Investors, Cormorant Asset Management, Rock Springs Capital, Novo Holdings A/S, Logos Capital, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), RA Capital Management, and a U.S.-based, healthcare-focused fund, alongside additional existing investors GV and Biomatics.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance the company’s pipeline of gene editing medicines, led by VERVE-101, and further extend its scientific and technical leadership. Verve is developing VERVE-101, comprised of a messenger RNA for adenine base editing and a guide RNA for PCSK9 gene targeting, packaged in a lipid nanoparticle delivery vehicle, for the initial treatment of heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH), a potentially fatal genetic heart disease.
“Over the last year, we made significant progress toward our bold vision of eradicating coronary heart disease, most recently supported by compelling non-human primate data, which validate in vivo liver base editing as a once-and-done approach to lower LDL cholesterol and treat coronary heart disease,” said Sekar Kathiresan, M.D., chief executive officer of Verve. “We are grateful for the level of support by this well-regarded group of investors, which is a testament to the potential of our gene editing approach and pipeline. This funding will help advance VERVE-101 into clinical development, drive our earlier programs forward and provide necessary resources to achieve our mission so that we may impact the lives of as many people as possible.”
VERVE-101’s advancement is supported by recently announced proof-of-concept data in non-human primates. Those data demonstrate that a one-time intravenous administration of a gene editing treatment leads to in vivo (“in the body”) liver DNA editing with a single A to G spelling change, shutting down the production of the PCSK9 protein and resulting in substantial lowering of blood LDL cholesterol. VERVE-101 is in IND-enabling studies, and the company plans to initiate clinical development in patients with HeFH in 2022.
“Verve is an incredibly exciting company with the technology, insights and capabilities to translate world-class research into an entirely new approach to addressing cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide,” said Eli Casdin, chief investment officer and founder of Casdin Capital. “Investing in the people behind transformative life sciences companies like Verve is at the core of Casdin Capital, and we could not be prouder to further support the Verve team and help accelerate the next stage of the company’s growth.”
About Verve Therapeutics
Verve Therapeutics is a biotechnology company created with a singular focus: to protect the world from heart disease. Founded by world-leading experts in cardiovascular medicine, human genetics and gene editing, the company aims to develop transformative, once-and-done therapies for coronary heart disease. Verve’s gene editing medicines are designed to safely edit the genome of adults and mimic naturally occurring gene variants to permanently lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The company is advancing a pipeline of precision genetic medicines, led by VERVE-101, which is being developed initially for heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, a potentially fatal genetic heart disease. For more information, visit www.VerveTx.com.