Accent raised $40 Million to Develop Epitranscriptomics Studies

May 21, 2018  Source: Ddu 227

Cambridge, Mass.-based Biotech startup Accent Therapeutics announced $40 million A series funding to develop cancer treatment based on epitranscriptomics, an RNA-modifying protein (RMPs) which have been connected to recent cancer studies. The fund has been supported by The Column Group, Atlas Venture, and EcoR1 Capital. The company is researching to understand which RMPs are involved in which cancer indications, and, within those indications, which patients would most likely respond to this type of treatment.

The primary role of RNA is to deliver messages from the DNA in order to control and regulate the synthesis of proteins. If DNA is the house in this system, RMPs are homeowner's choices that modify the structure of the house; says Chief Scientific Officer Robert Copeland, Ph.D. "All those modifications are what create a custom unique home. Changes of RNA molecules define the spectrum of biological functions a cell is going to have, and these modifications control which RNAs are translated into proteins and the modifications themselves affect the structure, function, and stability of individual RNA constructs" he added.

Copeland said "Accent has detected about 600 genes that encode for proteins involved in RNA modification. And all 600 of those genes across more than 300 different cancer cell lines," These included both solid tumors and blood cancers.  The company has picked out 20 RMPs it believes have "strong implications" in specific cancer indications and prioritized them according to unmet medical need and what it knows about the biology of those targets, including whether they are likely to be a treated. We have narrowed our sights to four targets and is "well on our way" to identifying chemical matter against each one.

By editor

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