Home Biotechnology & life science Belgian eTheRNA raises €39m in Series B2 financing

Belgian eTheRNA raises €39m in Series B2 financing

by Suchanaadainik
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Moderna co-founder Kenneth Chien and Novalis LifeSciences LLC are the lead investors of a €39m Series B2 financing in eTheRNA.

Existing investors, including LSP (now EQT Life Sciences), PMV, Grand Pharma, Fund+, Omega Fund, and others, also participated in the financing. Concurrent with this investment round, the two new investors Dr. Kenneth Chien, co-founder of Moderna Therapeutics and professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and Dr. Marijn Dekkers, founder and chairman of Novalis LifeSciences LLC and former CEO of Bayer AG and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., will join the company’s board of directors. In addition, eTheRNA announced the departure of its CEO, Steven Powell, and the appointment of current COO, Bernard Sagaert, as interim-CEO.

Niel-based mRNA technology provider eTheRNA said it will use the proceeds to adopt a new business model based on utilisation of its broad know-how in mRNA engineering, production and its proprietary LNP formulation for contract research with pharma partners aiming to commercialise preventive mRNA vaccines and therapeutic cancer jabs. The company expects its strategy to result in near-term revenue growth through technology licensing and mRNA cGMP manufacturing services for multiple future partners.

The announcement leaves it a little unclear what is actually new about the business model. After all, eTheRNA had also entered into R&D cooperations under the old CEO, most recently with Merck KGAA in February. In March, the company presented its proprietary formulation technology. Ex-Moderna CEO Chien knows a thing or two about patent disputes with LNP partners. Moderna faces a patent infringement lawsuit in the US, relating to the lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) that protect the mRNA in its vaccine. The suit claims Moderna is infringing technology from six US patents, developed by Arbutus Biopharma and licensed to Genevant – a joint venture between Arbutus and Roivant Sciences.

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