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Gates Foundation Joins $22 Million Investment in Eleven Therapeutics

Eleven Therapeutics

Eleven Therapeutics: Ilan COO,, Dr. Iris Grossman, Chief Therapeutics Officer, and CEO Yaniv Erlich (company pic)

Eleven Therapeutics, an Israeli medtech and biotechnology startup that uses AI in nucleic acid therapeutics raised a total of $22 million in seed funding. Investors included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which committed $9 million in funding to Eleven, including $5 million towards future equity investment supporting the development of a first-of-its-kind platform that designs small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) with ultra-long durability by utilizing high throughput combinatorial chemistry and AI.

According to the University of Massachusetts Medical School, RNA is used to find and regulate specific genes. It’s known as RNA interference (or RNAi). The technique was developed two decades ago by Andrew Fire and the RTI’s Craig Mello and it earned them a Nobel Prize in 2006. They discovered that cells have a search engine and that they could harness it to carry out their own searches. In other words, RNAi acts like the cell’s own personal google search for genetic data.

The University explains that Scientists have been working on ways to harness the power of RNAi to correct mistakes in the genetic code that leads to disease. RNAi can be programmed to find a genetic defect, and it can then silence it.

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Founded in 2020, Eleven Therapeutics declares that it is ushering in the next generation of RNAi therapeutics by combining artificial intelligence (AI), massively parallel functional assays, and combinatorial chemistry. Its flagship invention features a new modality, dubbed SCSI-RNA™ (smart-combinatorial, small interfering RNA), a fully programmable molecule, rationally designed to address the delivery, durability, and efficacy challenges of any disease and biological target of interest.

Eleven Therapeutics boasts that it brings new RNAi therapeutics for patients in need by capitalizing on some of the world’s best pools of talent through its three collaborative hubs—in Cambridge, UK; Boston, U.S.; and Tel Aviv, Israel. Eleven is currently focusing its development pipeline on siRNA treatments for a range of respiratory diseases.

“The future equity investment and grant funding from the Gates Foundation propels our revolutionary efforts of mapping the chemical space of oligonucleotide therapeutics. Our platforms pave the way for the discovery of groundbreaking RNAi therapeutics and prophylactics against some of the most devastating diseases of our time,” said Prof. Yaniv Erlich, co-founder and CEO of Eleven Therapeutics.



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