Transporters Targeting Cell’s Metabolic Gates Win Financing

Jnana Therapeutic’s goes to market with $50 million.

Boston-based Jnana Therapeutics is developing a novel therapeutic platform that targets the solute-carrier (SLC) family of transporters, commonly understood as the metabolic gates of living cells. Their proprietary small-molecule platform, the company announced, has received $50 million in Series A financing.

According to Jnana, seed funders include Avalon Ventures and Polaris Partners, joined by AbbVie Ventures, Pfizer R&D Innovate and Versant Ventures in the Series A financing syndicate. Focused on immunometabolism, lysosomal function and mucosal defense, Jnana explained those important disease pathways are where SLC transporters can provide novel targets for immuno-oncology, inflammatory disorders and neurological diseases.

“SLC transporters provide cells with knowledge about their environment,” said Amir Nashat, Managing Partner with Polaris Partners, and Jnana’s Chief Executive. “These proteins are amongst the oldest in biology and afford avenues to address virtually all major diseases. After 50 years of drug development,” noted Nashat, “only a handful of SLCs have been harnessed to treat disease, leaving over 400 members unstudied.

Recognized leaders are part of Jnana’s founding team and include luminaries from chemistry, drug discovery and development, translational medicine and pharma business-building. Among those on the team include Stuart Schreiber, Co-founder of Broad Institute and biotech companies including Vertex, Ariad and H3 Biomedicine; Ramnik Xavier, Chief of Gastroenterology at Massachusetts General Hospital; Joanne Kotz, President at Jnana and Joel Barrish, former VP and Head of Discovery Chemistry at Bristol-Myers Squibb, now Chief Scientific Officer at Jnana.

 

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