Founded in 2020, Chimerna Therapeutics has developed a platform for generating circular RNA, which overcomes the major limitations of RNA therapeutics, namely stability and abundance. The company says this proprietary technology makes robust endogenous expression of RNAs and RNA aptamers possible.
By making RNA as a circle, rather than the normal linear form that predominates in nature, they resist degradation, allowing the RNA to accumulate to levels that have never previously been possible for RNA-based therapies. The company says the technology allows therapeutic RNAs to be expressed as stable RNA circles in any cell in the body using the cell’s own machinery.
The company’s platform has a wide range of potential applications that include aptamers, molecular sponges, protein expression, and molecular sensors. The company aims to continually evolve this technology with multiple developments in the pipeline.
Chimerna is initially leveraging the platform to develop therapies against previously untreatable diseases, with Discovery stage programs in: Autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) (Target: miR-17~92); Alzheimer’s disease (Target: Tau); and Parkinson’s disease (Target: alpha-synuclein).
In addition to developing its own pipeline of therapeutics, the company aims to increase the speed and efficiency of other company’s drug development pipelines by developing new high-throughput screens, to facilitate identification of disease-driving microRNAs. These screens are based on two key technologies: one to degrade microRNAs and one to sequester microRNAs.
Based in New York, USA, the company was awarded SBIR grant funding totaling $450,000 during 2020 to develop the technology.