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Fauna Bio Raises $9M in Seed Money

NEW YORK — Fauna Bio said on Tuesday that it has raised $9 million in seed funding.

The financing was led by LifeForce Capital and included participation from True Ventures, Boom Capital, Pacific 8 Ventures, BioMed Ventures, Vibe Capital, and Arcadia Science.

Fauna Bio aims to identify and develop new drugs for neurologic, metabolic, fibrotic, and cardiovascular disorders using genetic, epigenetic, and proteomic data from animals that have developed adaptations for disease and environmental stress resistance, such as hibernating and deep-diving mammals. The pathways underlying these physiologically protective traits could potentially be targeted in humans to treat disease, according to the firm.

The Emeryville, California-based company said it will use the money to expand its drug discovery platform, called Convergence, as well as accelerate its efforts to identify new therapeutic targets for human disease.

"Through millions of years of evolution, animals have developed ways to naturally resist and heal from a range of conditions that still plague humans," Fauna Bio CEO Ashley Zehnder said in a statement. "We are using these natural synergies between us and other mammals to improve health and wellness and, ultimately, longevity in humans."

Earlier this year, Fauna Bio received a $373,434 grant from the National Institutes of Health to support its research, which includes programs in heart disease and fibrosis. In early 2020, the company also began a drug discovery collaboration in obesity with Novo Nordisk.