Tune Therapeutics launches with $40 million in funding, aims to fine-tune the workings of genes in cells

Tune CEO Matt Kane. (Photo Editing)

A new biotech startup with operations in Seattle and Durham, NC, has launched with $40 million in new funding and a leadership team made up of veterans of therapeutic biotech Seattle cell.

Treatment Adjustment are developing technology that they say can fine-tune the behavior of genes in cells. According to a statement, the company has developed a proprietary platform called TEMPO that it calls “scientific therapy”. Epigenomics is a broad term commonly applied to the machinery in cells that attaches to DNA and affects the activity of genes.

Genetic diseases, cancers, and other conditions can occur when gene activity is too high or too low. TEMPO can “localize” epigenetic factors involved in a number of diseases, and it can regulate the activity of genes or gene networks.

The company isn’t clear on the specifics, but in a statement, Charles Gersbach, acting director of science and a professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University, said the company aims to use its tools “from proof-of-concept in rare single-gene disorders to other conditions.” A common condition that is not associated with a single gene mutation – but is treatable through epigenetic control. ”

Gersbach co-founded the company with the chairman and chief financial officer Akira Matsuna and Fyodor Urnov, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board. Urnov is a professor of genetics, genomics, and development at the University of California, Berkeley, and previously led exploratory and translational research at Sangamo Therapeutics.

Matsuna was previously head of Corporate Development at Lyell Immunopharma, a gene therapy company with a Seattle presence that went public this year. He is also a former program leader at Seattle’s leading cell-therapeutic biology company, Juno Therapeutics, which was acquired by Celgene in a multi-billion dollar deal in 2018.

Adapting Action CSO Charles Gersbach. (Photo Editing)

Two other Juno veterans on the team, head of technical department Heidi Zhang and head of research and Blythe Sather. Sather was also previously the senior director of T-cell engineering at Lyell.

The company is run by the CEO and director Matt Kane, formerly co-founder and CEO of cell and gene therapy biotech Precision BioSciences, went public in 2019.

The appearance of the company Build on the long-term efforts of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals to target the epigenome. Another epigenomics company, Chroma, also launched this November, with $125 million in funding. Tune is advertising for locations in both Seattle and Durham.

Co-lead investors for the Series A round are the Emerson Collective and New Entrepreneurs Associations, with participation from Hatteras Venture Partners, Mission Biocapital and others.

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