Intronn Inc. Completes Series A Funding
Raleigh, NC – Oct 11, 2001
(Intronn news release distributed Oct. 11, 2001 – Raleigh, N.C.)
Intronn Inc. announced today it has completed a $7 million Series A preferred-stock financing in order to fund its proprietary spliceosome-mediated RNA trans-splicing technology known as SMaRT™, a broad platform technology with potential applications in both therapeutics and drug discovery.
The investors are AEA Investors Inc. of New York, Stamford, Conn., and London, and Research Corporation Technologies Inc. (RCT) in Tucson, Ariz.
Intronn chief executive officer Gerard McGarrity, Ph.D. said he is delighted Intronn could attract strategic investors and partners such as AEA and RCT.
“They bring a wealth of knowledge regarding product development, partnering and corporate strategies,” McGarrity said. “These new resources, along with a grant of more than $2.5 million from the National Institutes of Health, allow Intronn to expand the potential applications of our SMaRT™ gene re-programming technology in genomics, molecular evolution, gene knockdowns and gene therapy.”
Intronn’s patented SMaRT™ technology can reprogram the vast majority of human, plant and animal genes to correct genetic errors, confer a new function to a cell or create novel gene products. SMaRT™ uses pre-trans-splicing molecules (PTMs), nucleic acid sequences that can be introduced, or trans-spliced, into a pre-messenger RNA molecule through a binding-domain sequence. In this way, specific genes can be reprogrammed to attack cancer, correct genetic mutations, introduce therapeutic genes such as cytokines, introduce marker and terminating sequences or to shuffle nucleic acid domains to benefit patients or to produce new proteins.
AEA and RCT join Proteome Sciences Plc of London as major shareholders in Intronn.
“Intronn’s technology platform is unique and truly innovative,” commented Michael Berendt, Ph.D., Managing Director of AEA. “It has already demonstrated therapeutic potential in animal models of cancer and hemophilia and holds great promise for the development of many additional therapeutic applications.”
“We believe Intronn’s technology platform will provide important therapeutic advances in cancer treatment and management of human genetic disease,” said Christopher Martin, commercialization director at RCT. “The technology is unique in that it can also address bacterial, viral and other infectious conditions. We are pleased to be working closely with the Intronn team and are looking forward to seeing the technology move forward to provide important new clinical therapeutics.”
“The next major phase of Intronn’s development following its transformation from research project to a focused corporate entity was the funding necessary to exploit an expanded business plan that further applied SMaRT™ technology across a wide range of applications in genomics, target validation, gene therapy and agbio,” said Christopher Pearce, CEO of Proteome Sciences. “Proteome Sciences has funded Intronn since its inception. With the support of AEA and RCT, Intronn is now ideally positioned to realize its full commercial value.”
About AEA Investors Inc.
AEA Investors Inc. is one of the most experienced international private equity investment firms with investors that include former and current CEOs of major international corporations, family groups, endowment funds and institutions from around the world. AEA targets traditional management buyouts as well as growth equity investments. AEA focuses on investments in several business areas, including specialty chemicals, communications, media and information, consumer and industrial products and life sciences.
RCT is an independent technology management company that commercializes technologies from research institutions worldwide. Commercialization vehicles include seed investments and ventures development of early-stage technologies, development partnerships and licensing programs.
Gerard J. McGarrity, Ph.D.
Intronn Chief Executive Officer
919-831-2239, 919-831-0880 fax