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Denali offers rare peek into the science behind its CNS delivery platform

Denali opens up about its technology for shuttling large molecules into the brain

Denali is lifting the veil on the delivery technology it’s using to transport large molecules into the CNS, detailing a differentiated strategy for hijacking the transferrin receptor.

The company revealed features of its large molecule transport vehicle (TV) CNS delivery technology for the first time in a pair of Science Translational Medicine papers published on Wednesday.

Since its launch in 2015, Denali Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:DNLI) has raised nearly $900 million, including $379.3 million in private funding, and attracted pharma partners such as Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (Tokyo:4502; NYSE:TAK) and Sanofi (Euronext:SAN; NASDAQ:SNY). It’s also become known for diving into an area of neurodegenerative disease that few other biotechs have dared to touch.

The company has been quiet about the details of its biology and platforms, but its strategy from the start has been to optimize brain delivery of therapeutic molecules.

While the bulk of its early pipeline focused on small molecules, CEO Ryan Watts told BioCentury that large molecules now account for about half of the company’s R&D activity.

“Protein engineering is becoming a much more significant part of our approach, for our internal pipeline and because it allows for

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