Most epigenetics companies aim to globally inhibit regulatory proteins, such as histone methyltransferases or histone demethylases, which may affect thousands of genes. RaNA Therapeutics Inc. is instead targeting long non-coding RNA, or lncRNA, to up-regulate gene expression in a locus-specific fashion. This could give it a specificity advantage over other epigenetic approaches.

RaNA was founded in 2011 after Atlas Venture's Jean-Francois Formela saw the potential to form a company based on Jeannie Lee's work at Massachusetts General Hospital.