RIBOZYME AND OMICS
Rznomics, raised KRW 37.2 B in series C round
Rznomics, a new drug developer for RNA-based gene therapy, announced on the 7th that it has completed attracting KRW 37.2 billion in Series C round.
In this round, Korea Development Bank, AON Investment, Partners Investment, IBK Capital, Quad Ventures, SBI Investment, Shinhan Venture Investment, and UTC Investment participated as investors.
As a result, Rznomics achieved a cumulative total of KRW 60.9 billion, including KRW 23.7 billion in series A and B, and received about KRW 8 billion in government-funded research funds through national new drug development projects.
Rznomics has an innovative platform technology so called Trans-splicing ribozyme, and represents a mechanism to remove disease-causing target RNA and express therapeutic RNA in its place.
Using this, innovative new drugs are being developed for liver cancer, glioblastoma, Alzheimer's, and hereditary retinal pigmentation.
Furthermore, it has secured its own circular RNA structure platform technology that can be applied to various fields such as treatments and vaccines.
In the case of liver cancer treatments, which are the most advanced in the new drug pipeline, clinical trials (phase 1/2) are scheduled in Korea and the United States from the second half of this year, and a clinical trial plan for glioblastoma is also planned within this year.
In the first half of next year, a clinical trial plan for Retinitis pigmentationosa, a rare eye disease, will also be submitted to the U.S. FDA.
In addition, it is planning to take a technology evaluation for Special Listing of Technology Growth in the first half of next year and is pushing for an IPO with the goal of the second half of next year.
Seong-wook, Lee, CEO of Rznomics, said, "It is a great help because it seems to have been recognized for its potential and value despite the stagnant bio-market atmosphere, and we will accelerate research and development even more." "We are actively discussing with leading multinational pharmaceutical companies for license-out, so we expect to deliver good news soon."
Regarding the reason for the decision to participate in this investment since Series A, Kim Joon-soo, senior team leader of Partners Investment, said, "The need and expectations for gene therapy are rising after COVID19 pandemic, and in particular, Rznomics has unrivaled global competitiveness."
RNA trans-splicing technology implements RNA-level correction unlike gene scissors that cause permanent genetic modification, and operates as an enzyme's own mechanism without needing help from external proteins for correction function, allowing for permanent development and commercialization of new drugs.
In other words, we decided to invest not only because we could fundamentally solve the medical unmet demand of genetic and intractable diseases, but also because we could expect the scalability and profitability of the business," he said.
Byung-kyu, Ahn, director of AON Investment, who participated in this investment with a large scale as a new Venture Capital, also said, "We decided to invest this time by comprehensively considering the mechanical differentiation of R&D technology owned by Rznomics in the RNA therapy area, pipelines that can maximize it, and R&D data at the global level."