Anima Biotech’s answer to undruggable targets is to go after the machinery that turns their mRNA into protein, adding a new approach to the gene regulation tool kit. The strategy should give Anima a leg up over competitors looking to bind RNA directly, in terms of target stability, tissue selectivity and the ability to tune protein expression up or down.
Anima Biotech Inc. was launched in 2014 with technology from the University of Pennsylvania that lets it visualize translation of almost any protein, enabling it to track how different molecules impact the process.
The platform has spawned a growing pipeline of preclinical translation modulators against novel, undisclosed targets, a $5 million series A round and $25 million series B round from undisclosed private investors, and a 2018 deal with Eli Lilly and Co. that could bring in over $1 billion. Under the Lilly deal, Anima received $30 million up front and $14 million in research funding to identify translation inhibitors of undisclosed targets, and is eligible to receive up to $1.05 billion in