hC Bioscience, a drug discovery and development company focused on tRNA-based therapeutics targeting protein dysfunction, has closed a Series A financing of $24 million led by ARCH Venture Partners, Takeda Ventures and 8VC.
hC Bio is advancing two complementary platforms. One is directed at restoring protein function when “nonsense mutations,” or premature termination codons (PTCs), cause protein dysfunction, a problem responsible for 10 – 15% of all human disease. This platform, called PTCX (“Patch”), employs tRNA that suppresses such errors in the genetic code to allow the proper full-length protein to be produced.
hC Bio is simultaneously developing a second tRNA-based platform called SWTX (“Switch”) to target diseases caused by missense mutations. This technology is designed to correct for such mutations in proteins that cause disease.
Leslie J. Williams, president and CEO, and Professor Christopher Ahern, from the University of Iowa founded the company in early 2021 to translate and augment the foundational work performed in the Ahern lab in Iowa City.
“We are creating medicines to restore protein function to its intended state without editing genes,” said Williams. “A single tRNA therapy has the potential to treat many diseases regardless of the gene or location of the mutation.”
Along with the close of hC Bioscience’s Series A financing, the company has also appointed David Altreuter, Ph.D., as chief technology officer.