Biotech startup Turn Biotechnologies raises new funding to develop novel RNA medicines for untreatable age-related conditions
Turn Biotechnologies is a Silicon Valley-based tech startup and a Stanford University spinout that is developing mRNA medicines that induce the body to heal itself by instructing specific cells to fight disease or repair damaged tissue.
Using the same mRNA technology that led to the quick development of two COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the United States, Turn is developing therapies to effectively return mature differentiated cells to a dramatically younger state leaving their differentiated identity unaltered.
Today, Turn announced that it has closed its latest round of funding. The total amount of the funding was not disclosed. Turn is backed by investors that focused on identifying and backing enterprises that have the potential to change the world with their disruptive technologies.
Backers for the latest round include new investor Khosla Venture, joined by the Shanda Group and Formic Ventures. Khosla, Shanda Group, and Formic Ventures also join Turn’s early investors, Methuselah Fund and Methuselah Foundation, which specialize in companies committed to extending healthy lifespans and improving quality of life as we age.
“Turn sits at the convergence of several areas of recent dramatic innovation, namely in delivery of RNA as a therapeutic, understanding of cellular senescence, and cellular reprogramming,” said Alex Morgan, MD, PhD, Partner at Khosla Ventures. “This technology out of Stanford University is on track to creating novel therapeutics to help heal and rejuvenate age-damaged tissues.”
“These investments by funds with a reputation for picking winners around the world recognize Turn’s innovation, vision, and potential to disrupt the market,” said CEO Anja Krammer. “As the population ages, millions of elderly persons are forced to cope with age-related conditions for which only symptomatic treatment exists. Our new investors enable Turn to bring to the market the promise of a technology that has the potential to improve quality of life and change healthcare economics globally.”
Founded in 2019, Turn is a pre-clinical-stage company focused on repairing tissue at the cellular level. The company’s proprietary mRNA technology combats the effects of aging in the epigenome, thus restoring optimal gene expression and enabling cells to function as vigorously as when they were younger. Turn’s technology provides a platform from which to attack a variety of diseases related to age. The company is currently completing pre-clinical research on tailored therapies targeting indications in dermatology, ophthalmology, osteoarthritis, and cartilage damage and musculature.
Turn focuses on the repair of tissue at the cellular level, utilizing its patent-pending mRNA platform technology, ERA™, to combat the effects of aging in the epigenome, thus restoring optimal gene expression and enabling cells to function as vigorously as younger cells. This restores the cells’ ability to prevent or treat disease and heal or regenerate tissue.
The use of mRNA promises to revolutionize the development of therapeutics by making that development safer, faster, more efficient, and extremely tunable to patient need.
Turn’s epigenetic reprogramming technology has the potential to significantly impact a wide variety of age-related diseases, and the company is currently exploring treatments for dermatologic, osteoarthritic, ophthalmic, and muscular conditions. Its work in these areas has also attracted several potential partners, which are currently in discussions with Turn.