ARTICLE | Finance

Jan. 20 Quick Takes: Moderna vets pick ADARx for new VC’s debut investment

Plus: Clinical hold lifted on Astellas gene therapy, FDA reviewers scrutinize rezafungin’s benefit and updates from Deciphera, Disc and more

January 21, 2023 1:36 AM UTC

Co-founded by Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) veterans Evan Rachlin and Lorence Kim this month, late-stage biotech VC Ascenta Capital has made its first investment, leading a $46 million series B-1 round for ADARx Pharmaceuticals Inc. as the San Diego RNA company’s first product, ADX-324, enters the clinic for hereditary angioedema. Existing ADARx investors OrbiMed Advisors, SR One Capital Management, Lilly Asia Ventures and Sirona Capital participated in the financing.

Kim, who joined ADARx’s board, was CFO of Moderna in 2014-20 and a venture partner at Third Rock Ventures in 2020-22. Rachlin was Moderna’s head of strategy in 2015-19 before joining Blackstone Life Sciences for a three-year tenure as managing director. The new firm’s advisers include Michael Rosenblatt, former CMO of Flagship Pioneering and Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK), and Jeffrey Chodakewitz, former CMO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:VRTX) and a fellow Merck alum...