Fauna closes $9 million to expand drug discovery platform

Latest articles

Exclusive: “Mitlets” hold potential for mitochondria transfusion

Mitrix Bio believes recently discovered blood components may support transfusion of large quantities of healthy mitochondria from donor to patient. Earlier this year, we brought...

Optimise your body and mind by tackling cell stress

Want to live longer and heathier? Combating cell stress is an important first step on your longevity journey. It's a fast-paced, busy world, and we're...

Crypto – pulling a (Moon) Rabbit out a hat for longevity

Angel Versetti on why it makes sense to look at more experimental solutions for longevity. Earlier this week we brought you part one of our...

New webinar will explore the opportunity of ovarian longevity

What does delaying menopause mean in terms of investment activity, societal change and the technologies that will reshape the lives of multiple millions of...

Most read

New supplement slows aging and promotes weight loss

Sugar-proof your way to a longer life. Reducing AGEs to slow aging and increase weight loss – how one supplement is fighting the war...

An antiaging supplement that also reduces appetite?

One for the AGEs: Juvify signs IP licensing deal with Buck Institute for GLYLO antiaging supplement that aims to reduce glycation. A researcher at the...

Resveratrol – the small molecule with big antiaging ideas

When it comes to antiaging molecules, we can learn a thing or two from plants. As so often in natural world, plants have a few...

Editor's picks

Exclusive: “Mitlets” hold potential for mitochondria transfusion

Mitrix Bio believes recently discovered blood components may support transfusion of large quantities of healthy mitochondria from donor to patient. Earlier this year, we brought...

Optimise your body and mind by tackling cell stress

Want to live longer and heathier? Combating cell stress is an important first step on your longevity journey. It's a fast-paced, busy world, and we're...

Crypto – pulling a (Moon) Rabbit out a hat for longevity

Angel Versetti on why it makes sense to look at more experimental solutions for longevity. Earlier this week we brought you part one of our...

Click the globe for translations.

Leveraging animal genomics to improve human health, Fauna Bio set to expand its comparative genomics platform for novel target drug discovery.

Silicon Valley biotech startup Fauna Bio has raised $9 million in seed funding. The company says the new funds will be used to “expand its drug discovery platform while accelerating the discovery of new therapeutic targets for human diseases across a broad range of indications.”

Longevity.Technology: When we spoke with Fauna CEO Ashley Zehnder last month, she told us that new funding would enable the company to prove that it has “a repeatable, scalable platform that can go into many disease areas.” Now, with an extra $9 million in the bank, this interesting company has the backing to start doing just that.

Fauna is tapping into potential of comparative and functional genomics to find better therapies for human disease, including neurologic, metabolic, fibrotic, and cardiovascular disorders.

Speaking to us about today’s funding, Zehnder said, “These funds support the expansion of our computational and research teams as well as bringing in an experienced drug development professional to oversee our internal program development and partnerships.  We are greatly expanding the breadth of our target testing capabilities by screening hundreds of new targets and compounds across three new disease areas while expanding on our existing programs in retinal disease, cardiac disease and fibrosis as well as our discovery datasets through key academic partnerships.”

Addressing unanswered questions

The initial version of the company’s discovery platform uses gene expression data from hibernating mammals due to their ability to reverse disease-causing traits. To date, the platform has identified two compounds and four novel genetic targets currently undergoing evaluation for heart disease and related disorders.

In addition, Fauna collaborates with Novo Nordisk on a target discovery program for obesity, and the company has also identified seven novel genetic targets to reduce fibrosis, which is a core component of many chronic and debilitating diseases.

“Studying human biology and genetics alone has still left us with many unanswered questions, gaps in knowledge, and without treatments to many serious diseases that could be aided by looking outside our own species,” said Zehnder in a statement about today’s funding. “Through millions of years of evolution, animals have developed ways to naturally resist and heal from a range of conditions that still plague humans. We are using these natural synergies between us and other mammals to improve health and wellness and, ultimately, longevity in humans.”

New investors join the round

The new round was led by new investor LifeForce Capital, with participation from True Ventures, Boom Capital, Pacific 8 Ventures, BioMed Ventures, Vibe Capital and Arcadia Science.

Lifeforce Capital invests in companies that are creating new ways to solve the biggest problems in healthcare,” said John Noonan, Managing Partner of LifeForce Capital. “The all-female co-founding team at Fauna Bio exemplifies the cross-discipline collaboration the field of medicine needs to foster innovation and achieve real progress in discovering new ways to treat serious diseases.”

Fauna
Fauna co-founders Katie Grabek, Ashley Zehnder and Linda Goodman.

Fauna also announced that Dr Bryan Burkey has joined the company as its Head of Therapeutics Discovery. An experienced drug discovery and development professional, Burkey led biology and translational pharmacology efforts at Novartis Research for 23 years.

Images courtesy of Fauna Bio
Danny Sullivan
Contributing Editor Danny has worked in technology communications for more than 15 years, spanning Europe and North America. From bionics and lasers to software and pharmaceuticals – and everything in between – he’s covered it all. Danny has wide experience of technology publishing and technical writing and has specific interest in the transfer from idea to market.

Most popular

New supplement slows aging and promotes weight loss

Sugar-proof your way to a longer life. Reducing AGEs to slow aging and increase weight loss – how one supplement is fighting the war...

An antiaging supplement that also reduces appetite?

One for the AGEs: Juvify signs IP licensing deal with Buck Institute for GLYLO antiaging supplement that aims to reduce glycation. A researcher at the...

Resveratrol – the small molecule with big antiaging ideas

When it comes to antiaging molecules, we can learn a thing or two from plants. As so often in natural world, plants have a few...

Tree of Longevity – understanding how supplements work

Pathways? Hallmarks? Biomarkers? Understanding the longevity supplements lingo can help you make better choices for your healthspan. Longevity supplements differ from other 'generic supplements' as...

Related articles

Crypto – pulling a (Moon) Rabbit out a hat for longevity

Angel Versetti on why it makes sense to look at more experimental solutions for longevity. Earlier this week we brought you part one of our...

New webinar will explore the opportunity of ovarian longevity

What does delaying menopause mean in terms of investment activity, societal change and the technologies that will reshape the lives of multiple millions of...

Buck Institute awarded $12.7m to join senescence network

NIH award to join SenNet, the Cellular Senescence Network, will enable Buck scientists to identify and characterise senescent cells – recognised as a driver...

Michael Antonov: longevity is all about tackling true unknowns

The Co-founder of Formic Ventures is using logic and innovation to drive the longevity sector forward. Michael Antonov is a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist who...

Deep learning platform seeks near-term indications of age-related diseases

Arrive co-founder talks combining aging cell biology, drug screening and deep learning technology in the quest to discover novel antiaging targets. Silicon Valley and Singapore-based...