REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Juvena Therapeutics, Inc. (“Juvena”), a biotechnology company scaling a computational platform to map the therapeutic potential of secreted proteins, announced today that it has raised $41 million in an oversubscribed Series A, bringing its total funding to $50 million. The new funding will power the expansion of Juvena’s drug discovery platform and advance the company’s biologics pipeline targeting chronic and age-related diseases.
The Series A was co-led by Mubadala Capital and Horizons Ventures, with participation from Bison Ventures, Manta Ray Ventures, IRONGREY, Alumni Ventures, Plum Alley, Jeff Dean (SVP, Google Research and Health), Transform VC, Karl Pfleger, BoxOne Ventures, Intersect VC, Compound, Felicis, and other investors.
Secreted proteins are a proven class of biologics with tremendous therapeutic potential, as they regulate tissue repair and regeneration, organ development, and immune response to disease. However, despite the remarkable impact of FDA-approved biologics based on secreted proteins such as insulin, human growth hormone, and erythropoietin, this class of biologics has remained largely understudied and underutilized by biopharma due to low abundance, higher structural complexity, and the massive search space to map secreted proteins to disease-reversing effects in specific target cells across human organs. These limitations have constrained biopharma’s approach to studying the role of secreted proteins only as drug targets or biomarkers, rather than drug agents themselves.
To systematically uncover the therapeutic links between secreted proteins and diseases, Juvena has developed a computational platform that mines proteins secreted by regenerative stem cells and screens this rich pool of drug candidates across therapeutic areas to discover and engineer novel biologics. This platform is applicable across a wide scope of disease indications. It combines a compounding database mapping secreted proteins to specific diseases, an in silico screening technology, wetlab screening in primary human cell and animal models, and protein engineering capabilities creating a fully integrated approach for accelerating the development of biologics for chronic and age-related diseases.
Juvena was co-founded by Dr. Hanadie Yousef, an expert on the biology of aging and degenerative diseases, and Dr. Jeremy O’Connell, an expert on systems biology and proteomics. They co-founded Juvena to build on decades of expertise they accumulated at U.C. Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard, and U.T. Austin. As the company expands its platform, it is also accelerating its preclinical programs, having secured funding from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine and the National Institute of Health for the treatment of Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1, a rare disease that is incurable today.
“We are thrilled to scale our platform with this investment and advance the discovery and engineering of novel biologics that reverse the damage people accrue with aging and chronic, debilitating diseases,” said Hanadie Yousef, PhD, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Juvena. “We’re also excited to explore partnerships with biopharma companies looking to benefit from the mapping of secreted proteins to other therapeutic focus areas.”
“Juvena has developed an unbiased computational drug discovery platform that allows it to uncover novel insights about the role of secreted proteins at an unprecedented scale, and to accelerate their development into regenerative therapeutics for high unmet medical needs,” said Ayman AlAbdallah, Venture Capitalist at Mubadala Capital. “We are excited to work with the Juvena team and believe their robust platform and pipeline will lead to therapeutics that significantly benefit patients.”
“Juvena is addressing a long-standing critical gap in drug discovery by unlocking the therapeutic powers of an attractive class of biologics that can help prevent, treat, and cure life-altering diseases, thereby rejuvenating lives,” said Patrick Zhang, Investor at Horizons Ventures. “The technology platform, coupled with the experienced team Juvena has attracted, will contribute significantly to the availability of safe, effective, and easily-administered treatments for chronic and age-related diseases.”
About Juvena Therapeutics
Juvena Therapeutics is a biotech company accelerating the development of therapeutics by unlocking the therapeutic potential of secreted proteins. Secreted proteins are a class of biologics with proven therapeutic potential that has been under-leveraged due to the complexity of identifying and screening such proteins. The company is developing a patent-pending computational drug discovery and development platform that is delivering novel biologics to address major unmet medical needs in chronic and age-related diseases by mining regenerative proteins secreted by stem cells. Juvena has generated hits and new drug targets across several therapeutic areas. To learn more about Juvena Therapeutics, visit JuvenaTherapeutics.com or follow the company on LinkedIn @Juvena-Therapeutics.
About Mubadala Capital
Mubadala Capital is the wholly owned asset management subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, a $284 billion global sovereign investor headquartered in Abu Dhabi. Mubadala Capital manages c. $17 billion in aggregate across its own balance sheet investments and in third-party capital vehicles on behalf of institutional investors, including four private equity funds, three early-stage venture funds and two funds in Brazil focused on special situations. Mubadala Capital has offices in New York, San Francisco, London, Rio de Janeiro, and Abu Dhabi.
About Horizons Ventures
Horizons Ventures was co-founded by Solina Chau and Debbie Chang in 2005. It is known for backing era-defining companies making lasting and positive impact in the world. Amongst its string of notable early stage investments are Zoom, Impossible Foods, Perfect Day, Spotify, Siri and DeepMind, reflecting Horizons Ventures’ methodical long-term investment approach.