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Radar Therapeutics Inc.. (5/23/24). "Press Release: Radar Therapeutics Raises $13.4M in Seed Funding to Develop Smart Programmable Medicines Using Molecular RNA Sensors". Berkeley, CA.

Products Product drug delivery technology (drug formulation technology)
  Product 2 mRNA-based drug
Index term Index term Radar Therapeutics–SEVERAL: investment, 202405 seed financing round $13.4m led by NfX Bio
Person Person Drory, Omri Amirav (FNX 202110 General Partner)

Radar Therapeutics, a biotech company developing smart programmable medicines, today announced the completion of an oversubscribed $13.4 million in seed financing led by NfX Bio. Major investors Eli Lilly and Company, Biovision Ventures, and KdT Ventures also joined the round, with participation from PearVC, BEVC and other investors. The financing will support advancement of Radar’s internal programs, team expansion and partnering.

Current genetic medicines, including mRNA therapeutics, are not targeted and typically rely on cell surface proteins to confer targeting, which limits application. This often means that ex vivo cell therapies, where genetic material is introduced outside of the body, have to be used.

Radar is developing programmable genetic and mRNA-based therapeutics that use RNA sensors – mRNAs that gate their expression based on other RNAs in the cell – for specific payload expression to deliver targeted, timed delivery of the drug payload into the right cells at the right time. Controlled translation of the mRNA therapy avoids systemic toxic side-effects in non-target cells. The RADAR platform enables "smart," rationally designed precision therapeutics.

“With Radar’s technology, we can now precisely alter the biology of the cell, delete harmful cells, or potentially reprogram cells for autoimmune diseases. This has the potential to enable a new generation of safer, more durable and effective mRNA therapeutics for applications beyond vaccines,” said synthetic biology pioneer Jim Collins, Ph.D., Co-Founder at Radar Therapeutics and the Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering & Science and Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT.

“Creating genetic expression-regulation systems that operate at the level of translation while being programmable to ensure compatibility with next-generation mRNA-based medicines has been a long-lived dream,” said Xiaojing Gao, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Stanford and Radar Co-Founder.

“Like a safety switch, our payload is always off, and only gets turned on in the right cell,” said Sophia Lugo, CEO & Co-Founder, Radar Therapeutics. “We can selectively write a function into any cell type. Programmable mRNA-based therapies have the potential to be in vivo, scalable and modular, to improve patient access. We’re thrilled to have the support of these top-tier investors as we advance our preclinical programs.”

“Unlike approaches using microRNAs to turn payload expression off in predefined cells, Radar's technology enables the activation of protein expression in desired cells,” said Eerik Kaseniit, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer & Co-Founder, Radar Therapeutics. “We’re leveraging the explosion in single-cell transcriptomic data, and advances in our understanding of RNA-editing enzymes such as ADAR, to design simple switches to create smart mRNA therapies. We’ve assembled a world class team to push the platform towards product and are excited to use these funds to grow the team further.”

“Radar's focus on full transcriptomic analysis sets them apart from traditional targeting methods that rely solely on cell surface markers,” said Omri Drory, PhD, Partner, NfX Ventures. “By leveraging a broad dataset offered by single-cell transcriptomics, Radar can precisely identify cellular signatures and engineer programmable therapies accordingly, offering unparalleled specificity to avoid off-target effects.”

A publication in Nature Biotechnology describes the design of a highly specific, compact sensor sequence to the driver RNAs or disease markers of a cell of interest, including a stop codon in front of the mRNA payload. In non-target cells without the marker RNAs, the payload is not expressed due to the stop codon, which prevents ribosomal translation. In target cells, the stop codon is selectively removed through interactions with cell-type-defining marker RNAs.

Radar Therapeutics is advancing this technology even further by developing a proprietary methodology that only uses endogenous enzymes to achieve high expression levels, which is a significant advancement in the field of RNA editing, as it will potentially enable the development of safer, more effective, and cost-efficient therapies for various diseases.

The company’s scientific advisory board includes: Xiaojing Gao, Ph.D., Co-Founder, James J. Collins, Ph.D., Co-Founder, David Schaffer, PhD., Eric Klein, M.D., and Svetlana Lucas, PhD.

Radar has received a number of industry awards including: Abbvie Golden Ticket, J&J West Coast Cell and Gene Therapy Symposium "Judge's Choice" award, and an Amgen Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Award.

About Radar Therapeutics

Radar Therapeutics is a biotech company developing programmable precision therapeutics. Leveraging innovative mRNA technology and proprietary regulatory control elements, the company aims to revolutionize medicine by enabling targeted, timely, and controlled therapeutic interventions. Radar is committed to advancing the boundaries of genetic medicine to address unmet medical needs and improve patient access. The company is based in Berkeley, CA. For more information, visit


Media Contact
Kimberly Ha
KKH Advisors

Record changed: 2024-06-05


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