Eli Lilly, UCB and others Switch into gear with $52M for new RNA biotech

South San Francisco biotech Switch Therapeutics unwrapped Tuesday morning with $52 million to finance conditionally activated siRNA molecules.

As its name suggests, the startup said it can switch on the molecules only in selected cells so they’re more precise than other RNAi approaches and can potentially be effective for longer periods. The biotech will start in the central nervous system and consider expanding its use in other disease areas through the help of potential pharma collaborators, CEO Dee Datta told Endpoints News.

Bankrolling the work is UCB Ventures, Insight Partners, Eli Lilly, BOLD Capital Partners, Ono Venture Investment, Wilson Hill and a plethora of VC firms with names ending in Ventures: Upfront, Digitalis, Dolby Family, Freeflow, PhiFund and others.

The biotech stems from the work of multiple Caltech, Harvard and City of Hope leaders. The foundation was laid by decades-long Caltech professor Bill Goddard; City of Hope molecular and cellular…
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