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Gene Editing Firm Homology Medicines Raises $83.5M in Series B Funding

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Gene editing firm Homology Medicines announced yesterday that it has raised $83.5 million in a Series B funding round.

The round was led by Deerfield Management, and new investors included Fidelity Management and Research Company, HBM Healthcare Investments, Maverick Ventures, Novartis, Rock Springs Capital, Vida Ventures, Vivo Capital, and Alexandria Venture Investments. Existing investors 5AM Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners and Temasek also participated in the financing.

Homology also raised $43.5 million in a Series A financing round when it launched in May 2016.

The company, which is based in Lexington, Massachusetts, is attempting to leverage homologous recombination and adeno-associated virus (AAVs) vectors to create new therapies for rare genetic diseases. The company has licensed AAV technology from Saswati Chatterjee, a virologist at the City of Hope's Beckman Research Institute, to achieve gene editing through homologous recombination pathways.

Homology said it plans to use the proceeds from the Series B round to advance its lead development candidate, which is currently in preclinical IND-enabling studies for an inborn error of metabolism disease. The proceeds are also expected to support continued work to move Homology's AMEnDR (AAV-Mediated Editing by Direct Homologous Recombination) technology into the clinic for rare genetic diseases with high unmet medical need. AMEnDR is a broadly applicable platform that enables highly efficient homologous recombination-based in vivo genomic correction of disease mutations or precise insertion of therapeutic sequences.

"This funding from leading biotechnology investment firms will enable us to rapidly bring our first development candidate toward the clinic and advance our expanding pipeline," Homology CEO Arthur Tzianabos said in a statement. "The strong support from investors who understand the space and appreciate the potential of our novel human-derived adeno-associated virus vectors to both edit and correct genes validates this technology for developing new therapeutic options and, ultimately, cures for patients."

In conjunction with the financing, Homology also appointed Deerfield Principal Cam Wheeler and Vivo Capital Managing Director Mahendra Shah to its board.