Orna rounds up $371M via series B, deal with Merck for circular RNAs

Biotech keeps an unpartnered ‘crown jewel’ in-house, taps pharma to advance vaccine projects and explore cancer treatments

August 16, 2022 10:48 PM UTC

A deal with Merck and a $221 million series B round will allow Orna’s lead circular RNA program to reach the clinic, while giving the pharma access to a platform to develop vaccines and therapeutics for infectious diseases and cancer.

Launched in February 2021 based on work by Daniel Anderson at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Orna Therapeutics Inc. believes a circular conformation of RNA offers stability advantages compared with linear RNAs that can degrade from the ends. Orna typically delivers its circular RNAs, dubbed oRNAs, in lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) that home to different cell types...

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