Gene editing startup Korro Bio launches to advance groundbreaking new approach to RNA editing
Korro Bio, a new gene editing startup new startup founded to lead the rapidly advancing field of RNA editing, announces its official launch. Korro Bio, which was co-founded and incubated by Atlas, with additional funding from New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA), is on a mission to advance a proprietary platform designed to selectively edit messenger RNA and recode specific codons to effect changes in protein structure and function across multiple tissues.
Founded in 2018 by gene-editing industry veterans Nessan Bermingham, Ph.D., and Andrew Fraley, Ph.D., Korro Bio aims to create therapies with unique and best-in-class product profiles. The foundational technology behind Korro Bio holds the promise to overcome many of the challenges associated with earlier-generation gene-editing approaches, including efficiency, selectivity and delivery.
“The field of nucleic acid editing is progressing rapidly, and new discoveries are creating the opportunity to harness endogenous human biology and develop compelling new therapies,” Dr. Bermingham said. “Korro Bio was established as the leader to watch in this space, supported by strong science, proprietary intellectual property and a team of accomplished experts to drive progress forward. We are thrilled to partner with NEA, which has been with Atlas at the forefront of evaluating and funding new gene-editing technologies.”
Korro Bio’s platform originated from pioneering research in the laboratory of company co-founder Josh Rosenthal, Ph.D., from the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Mass., an affiliate of the University of Chicago. Dr. Rosenthal’s landmark discoveries in RNA editing are based on nucleotide deamination, an endogenous process for modifying RNA function that is common to all multicellular organisms. Atlas Partner and company co-founder Jean-François Formela, M.D., serves on the MBL Council, where he and Dr. Rosenthal met in 2017 and began discussions that led to the formation of Korro Bio. Korro Bio and the Rosenthal Lab have established an active collaboration to advance this foundational science.
Korro Bio’s proprietary RNA-editing approach leverages endogenous human-expressed RNA-editing enzymes in the family of adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR). The ADAR platform at Korro Bio has multiple potential advantages over existing gene editing platforms, including the ability to utilize both endogenous or exogenous effector proteins; the potential for highly efficient and allele-specific RNA editing; the use of multiple delivery technologies; and the potential for titratable, repeat dosing.
The company is prioritizing multiple therapeutic indications where safe and targeted editing of messenger RNA using its ADAR-based platform is poised to provide unique benefits over other modalities in development, including gene therapy and gene editing approaches.