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Gene Editing Firm Homology Medicines Raises $43.5M in Series A Funding

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – A new gene editing therapeutics firm led by former Shire pharmaceutical executives launched today with $43.5 million in Series A funding.

Homology Medicines, based in Lexington, Massachusetts, will attempt 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. AAVs have also been used to deliver gene therapies such as alipogene tiparvovec, which addresses lipoprotein lipase deficiency by delivering a non-integrated copy of the human gene that produces the enzyme into cells.

"We are convinced that this single technology platform, which enables in vivo editing by efficient gene transfer, has broad, unmatched capabilities," Homology Medicines CEO Arthur Tzianabos said in a statement.

Tzianabos is joined by new COO Sam Rasty, who served as Shire's VP of rare diseases business, and CSO Albert Seymour, who served as Shire's senior VP and global head of research and nonclinical development.

Arch Venture Partners and 5AM Ventures led the financing round, joined by Temasek, Deerfield Management, and Arch Overage Fund. Deerfield Management is also an investor in CRISPR/Cas9-based gene editing firm Editas Medicine.