Gaithersburg, MD. (May ____ 2021) miRecule, Inc. (“miRecule”), an emerging biotech company focused on the development of cutting-edge RNA therapeutics, announced today it has closed over $5.7M in seed funding. The funding round was led by Alexandria Venture Investments, along with Boutique Venture Partners, Pathway Bioventures, Alumni Ventures Group, and national angel investors, with additional funding coming from the Maryland Momentum Fund and the FSHD Society. This funding includes a non-dilutive $2M Phase II SBIR grant from the National Cancer Institute.
miRecule will utilize the funding to drive its lead microRNA therapy (MC-30) towards clinical development for head & neck cancer, the 6th most common form of cancer worldwide. “We are hopeful MC-30 could be a real game-changer. By correcting the underlying mutation that creates resistance to treatment, we think we can triple response rates and give years of quality life back to many patients,” commented CEO Anthony Saleh.
miRecule’s DREAmiRTM discovery platform was developed through over a decade of research in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda Maryland. DREAmiR integrates genomic and clinical outcomes data from thousands of patients to identify underlying genetic drivers of disease, and then designs matching RNA therapeutics that directly correct those abnormalities. miRecule is applying its platform to a range of diseases, including cancer, muscular dystrophy, and even viruses such as HIV and COVID-19.
miRecule has also utilized DREAmiR to develop MC-DX4, an antisense oligonucleotide treatment for Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD). FSHD is one of the most common muscular dystrophies, with over 40,000 patients in the US (many of whom are children). Currently, there are no FDA approved treatments for FSHD. "The FSHD Society is excited to be a funding partner in this endeavor, which aligns strongly with our mission to reduce obstacles inherent in the clinical & regulatory process for FSHD,” said Mark Stone, CEO of the FSHD society.
miRecule was founded in 2017 in Montgomery County, Maryland in BioHealth Innovation’s (BHI) incubator by CEO Anthony D. Saleh, PhD and Chief Operating Officer Ashwin Kulkarni, MS. miRecule has been able to raise much of its seed funding from investors in the BioHealth Capital Region. “BHI is proud to have been a co-founder with miRecule, and assist in their fundraising and growth here in Maryland. Anthony is a role model having transitioned from an academic scientist to a successful entrepreneur, and we are glad to have supported him through this process” said Rich Bendis CEO of BHI. miRecule was able to utilize two programs to leverage their investment and grant funding. The Maryland Biotechnology Investment Tax Credit program, which provided a 50% match to their investors, and the Montgomery County SBIR matching funds grant which provided $25,000 on top of their NCI grant.
“We think miRecule’s therapeutics will vastly improve the lives of patients by changing the course of their serious diseases” said Dr. Rami El Assal, Managing Partner & Co-founder of Boutique Venture Partners. “miRecule’s innovative, data-driven discovery engine shows true platform potential for the next generation of RNA therapeutics. We were really glad to have miRecule participate in Alexandria’s Seed Capital Platform, and ultimately participate in the company’s seed round,” said Conley Jones from Alexandria Venture Investments.