The clinical-stage biotech Genascence has closed a Series A financing led by Pacira BioSciences, generating $10.5 million.
The funding round included investors Polymerase Capital, DeepWork Capital and University of Florida Research Foundation.
The Palo Alto, California–based company is focused on treating musculoskeletal diseases with gene therapy.
The company plans on using the funding for continued development of GNSC-001, an adeno-associated vector with a coding sequence for interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), which inhibits interleukin-1 (IL-1) signaling.
GNSC-001 is Genascence’s lead program in osteoarthritis. Inhibiting IL-1 is an attractive target in osteoarthritis because IL-1 is involved in cartilage degeneration and inflammation.
Osteoarthritis affects approximately 13% of adults according to data from CDC.
“Osteoarthritis affects more than 30 million Americans and is the leading cause of disability and chronic pain, as well as a significant risk factor for opioid addiction,” said Genascence CEO Thomas Chalberg, in a news release. “Patients have limited treatment options, and nothing is currently available that is able to slow down progression of this disabling disease.”
The company also will use the funding to advance its pipeline.
Genascence anticipates that a single injection of GNSC-001 to an affected joint can induce durable inhibition of IL-1.
The company has also announced the appointment of Dr. Brian Kotzin and Dr. Jackson Streeter to its board of directors.
Genascence was founded in 2017 with technology licensed from Mayo Clinic, University of Florida, and NYU Langone Health.
In 2019, the company completed a seed round of finance led by Polymerase Capital.
Filed Under: Rheumatology