in Financing to Further its Development of Transformative Treatments for Triplet Repeat Disorders
- Triplet was formed by Atlas Venture and CEO Nessan Bermingham to create a new treatment paradigm for repeat expansion disorders
- The company’s approach targets the common pathway involved in triplet repeat disorders including Huntington’s disease, myotonic dystrophy, spinocerebellar ataxias and potentially up to 40 additional repeat expansion disorders
December 17, 2019 06:00 AM Eastern Standard Time
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Triplet Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company harnessing human genetics to develop treatments for repeat expansion disorders at their source, launched today with $59 million in financing including a $49 million Series A financing led by MPM Capital and Pfizer Ventures U.S. LLC, the venture capital arm of Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE). Atlas Venture, which co-founded and seeded Triplet with a $10 million investment, also participated in the Series A alongside Invus, Partners Innovation Fund and Alexandria Venture Investments.
Triplet was founded in 2018 by Nessan Bermingham, Ph.D., a serial biotech entrepreneur and venture partner at Atlas Venture, along with Atlas Venture and Andrew Fraley, Ph.D., to pursue a transformative approach to developing treatments for repeat expansion disorders, a group of more than 40 known genetic diseases associated with expanded DNA nucleotide repeats. A significant body of human genetic evidence has identified that one central pathway, known as the DNA damage response (DDR) pathway, drives onset and progression of this group of disorders, which include Huntington’s disease, myotonic dystrophy and various spinocerebellar ataxias.
Triplet is developing antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) and small interfering RNA (siRNA) development candidates to precisely knock down key components of the DDR pathway that drive repeat expansion. This approach operates upstream of current approaches in development, targeting the fundamental driver of these diseases. By precisely reducing activity of select DDR targets, Triplet’s approach is designed to halt onset and progression across a wide range of repeat expansion disorders.
The company has a fully assembled senior management team of industry veterans. Nessan Bermingham, Ph.D., co-founder, president and chief executive officer, has nearly two decades of experience leading life science startups and is a co-founder of Intellia Therapeutics and Korro Bio. Irina Antonijevic, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president of development, previously led translational medicine and early development at Wave Life Sciences. Brian Bettencourt, Ph.D., senior vice president of computational biology & statistics, comes to Triplet from Translate Bio, where he led modeling and design of oligonucleotide and mRNA therapeutics. David Morrissey, Ph.D., senior vice president of technology, formerly led technology development and delivery of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing candidates at Intellia Therapeutics. Eric Sullivan, CPA, chief financial officer, brings experience leading financial operations at Gemini Therapeutics and bluebird bio. Jeffrey M. Cerio, Pharm.D., J.D., senior vice president & general counsel, served as senior corporate counsel at Moderna, Inc. before joining the Triplet team.
“We’re excited to launch Triplet today to transform the treatment of repeat expansion disorders,” Dr. Bermingham said. “This milestone would not have been possible without the contributions of thousands of patients, whose participation in genetic research has enabled us to build a fundamentally new understanding of the cause of these diseases. With this financing we are positioned to rapidly advance our initial development candidates toward the clinic for patients.”
The company will use the Series A funds to progress its first development candidates into IND-enabling studies, as well as to advance natural history studies to inform its clinical development plan and contribute to the scientific understanding of repeat expansion disorders.
“More than 40 repeat expansion disorders have been identified, and most of these diseases are severe with limited to no treatment options,” said Jean-François Formela, M.D., partner at Atlas Venture and Board Chair of Triplet. “We have built Triplet to fundamentally transform what has been the treatment strategy for these diseases up to now.”