Press Releases 04.19.2022
Tessera Therapeutics Announces Over $300M Series C Financing to Advance its GENE WRITING Platform
Latest Financing Round Will Support Tessera’s Build Out of its GENE WRITING Platforms and Pursuit of Multiple Therapeutic Programs for Clinical Development
Somerville, Mass., April 19, 2022 – Tessera Therapeutics, the biotechnology company pioneering a new approach in genetic medicine known as GENE WRITING technology, announced today that it has raised over $300 million in Series C financing. Investors included a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA); Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation; Altitude Life Science Ventures; ARTIS Ventures; Cormorant Asset Management; Tessera’s founder, Flagship Pioneering; Hanwha Impact Partners; Longevity Vision Fund; March Capital; SALT Fund; SoftBank Vision Fund 2; funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., and others including all of Tessera’s existing institutional shareholders.
“We are thankful for the support from our new partners and existing investors alike in this latest funding round. It is our belief that genetic medicine will be the most important next epoch in medicine—offering the ability to cure genetic diseases and to someday even prevent disease from occurring,” said Geoffrey von Maltzahn, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Board Director of Tessera Therapeutics. “Today’s announcement will help us realize the promise of GENE WRITING technology and our mission of curing disease by writing in the code of life.”
“While there have been many advancements in the area of genetic medicine over the past decade, Tessera’s GENE WRITING platform is charting an entirely new course—one that aims to revolutionize genetic medicine as we know it,” said Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chairman of Tessera Therapeutics and Founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering. “This latest funding round is a testament to the immense potential of this bioplatform to provide new treatments and cures to previously untreatable genetic diseases.”
Tessera’s GENE WRITING technology is designed to cure disease by writing in the code of life. The GENE WRITING platform can change any base pair to any other, make small insertions or deletions, and write entire genes into the genome with delivery of only RNA. This unlocks the potential to cure nearly any genetic disease, create life-changing medicines for other serious conditions such as cancer, and prevent illnesses with curative, scalable, and easily administered genetic medicines that could become a new modality in human healthcare.
GENE WRITING technology is inspired by nature’s genome architects—Mobile Genetic Elements (MGEs)—to overcome the limitations of gene editing and gene therapies. MGEs evolved to write new sequences of DNA into the genome, in contrast to nucleases like CRISPR which evolved to destroy DNA. Therefore, MGEs offer the potential for immense impact in genetic medicine by writing short and long therapeutic sequences of DNA into human cells. Tessera has designed, built, and tested tens of thousands of engineered and synthetic MGEs to create programmable GENE WRITING systems that can write and rewrite the genome with high-efficiency, specificity, and fidelity.
“The Tessera team has developed a remarkable GENE WRITING platform that confers unique advantages over alternative genetic medicine technologies, including base editing, CRISPR, and gene therapies,” said Vali Barsan, M.D., of SoftBank Investment Advisers. “Having worked closely with the company over the past year, it’s hugely exciting to observe GENE WRITING catalyze a new category of genetic medicine.”
For more information on Tessera Therapeutics, including how GENE WRITING technology works, partnership opportunities, and job openings, please visit www.tesseratherapeutics.com.
About Tessera’s GENE WRITER Technology
Tessera’s GENE WRITER tools are based on nature’s genome architects, Mobile Genetic Elements (MGEs)—the most abundant class of genes across the tree of life, representing approximately half of the human genome. Tessera has evaluated tens of thousands of natural and synthetic MGEs to create GENE WRITER candidates with the ability to write therapeutic messages into the human genome. Tessera’s research engine further optimizes the discovered GENE WRITER candidates for efficiency, specificity, and fidelity—essentially compressing eons of evolution into a few months.
About Tessera Therapeutics
Tessera Therapeutics is pioneering GENE WRITING technology, which consists of multiple technology platforms designed to offer scientists and clinicians the ability to write therapeutic messages into the human genome, thereby curing diseases at their source. The GENE WRITING platform allows the correction of single nucleotides, the deletion or insertion of short sequences of DNA, and the writing of entire genes into the genome, offering the potential for a new category of genetic medicines with broad applications both in vivo and ex vivo. Tessera Therapeutics was founded by Flagship Pioneering in 2018, a life sciences innovation enterprise that conceives, resources, and develops first-in-category companies to transform human health and sustainability. For more information about Tessera, please visit www.tesseratherapeutics.com.
About Flagship Pioneering
Flagship Pioneering conceives, creates, resources, and develops first-in-category bioplatform companies to transform human health and sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, the firm has, through its Flagship Labs unit, applied its unique hypothesis-driven innovation process to originate and foster more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in more than $140 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship has deployed over $2.6 billion in capital toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $19 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions. The current Flagship ecosystem comprises 42 transformative companies, including Axcella Therapeutics (NASDAQ: AXLA), Codiak Biosciences (NASDAQ: CDAK) Denali Therapeutics (NASDAQ: DNLI), Evelo Biosciences (NASDAQ: EVLO), Foghorn Therapeutics (NASDAQ: FHTX), Indigo Ag, Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA), Omega Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OMGA), Rubius Therapeutics (NASDAQ: RUBY), Sana Biotechnology (NASDAQ: SANA), Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MCRB), and Sigilon Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SGTX).