CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Ring Therapeutics, a life sciences company founded by Flagship Pioneering to revolutionize gene therapy with its commensal virome platform, announced today that it raised $117 million in Series B funding. The round included contributions by Invus, Altitude Life Science Ventures, Partners Investment, UPMC Enterprises, as well as funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., among others, alongside Flagship Pioneering. Proceeds from the financing will be used to support the continued development and expansion of Ring's novel vector Anellogy™ platform, the first true disruption of the gene therapy space in more than 50 years.
Founded by Flagship Labs in 2017, Ring has developed the world's first and only anellovirus database with thousands of newly discovered anello-based vector candidates. This diverse and ubiquitous population of commensal (causing no harm) viruses live as innocuous denizens in our bodies. They have co-evolved and are present throughout the human population. Ring has built a platform to harness the unique properties of commensal anelloviruses to generate a wide array of vectors with tissue-specific tropism and the potential ability to be re-dosed. This could lead to gene therapies and nucleic acid medicines that could potentially be given multiple times over the course of a person's life without causing an adverse immune response. Ring's Anellovectors™ can be engineered for a broad spectrum of therapeutic modalities and delivered through multiple routes of administration. Anellovirus vectors carry circular single-stranded DNA molecules that do not integrate with a person's existing DNA ("non-integrating"), overcoming some of the key challenges and limitations of current viral gene therapy platforms.
"Ring has successfully built a novel platform based on the commensal virome to create a completely new class of vector, giving us the potential to revolutionize gene therapy, a field that has historically been hindered by limited breadth, inability to re-dose, and poor tolerability," said Dr. Tuyen Ong, CEO of Ring Therapeutics and CEO-Partner of Flagship Pioneering. "With this funding, and the partnership of an exceptional group of investors joining us on this exciting journey, we are well positioned to deliver on the promise of Ring's platform to unlock the full potential of gene therapy and deliver precision medicines."
Dr. Ong continued, "Anelloviruses have been a part of the human body for millennia, making Ring's Anellovectors the ideal tool to unlock the potential of human biology through the natural advantages of anelloviruses. We are expanding the applications of nucleic acid-based treatments, enabling a wider array of modalities and extending the reach of conventional gene therapy, to provide more solutions to more patients."
"With its groundbreaking approach to gene therapy, the progress we have made at Ring Therapeutics is a great example of the type of transformative bioplatforms we focus on at Flagship Labs, in this case with an emphasis on programmable therapeutic modalities," said Co-Founder and Chairman at Ring Therapeutics and General Partner at Flagship Pioneering, Avak Kahvejian, Ph.D. "We welcome this group of new investors as Ring advances its work to harness the human commensal virome to create a gene therapy platform applicable to many diseases and with the potential to have a profound and far-reaching impact on human health."
Ring has built a fully integrated and proprietary vector bioplatform to discover and vectorize anelloviruses to produce breakthrough programmable medicines. Ultimately, the company will have a library of Anellovectors for external and internal clinical programs that may focus on oncology, cardiology, ophthalmology, CNS, rare diseases, pulmonary and beyond.
About Ring Therapeutics
Founded by Flagship Pioneering in 2017, Ring is driving a new paradigm in gene therapy and nucleic acid medicines by harnessing the human commensal virome. The company has developed a unique combination of expertise across virology, genomic epidemiology, structural and cell biology. In just two years, Ring has already identified thousands of anelloviruses, and has created Anellovectors – engineered vectors consisting of single-stranded DNA rings that, once administered, will remain as episomes in the nucleus. Ring is now pursuing a clinical development strategy for advancing several applications of Anellovectors to therapeutics programs.
About Flagship Pioneering
Flagship Pioneering conceives, creates, resources, and develops first-in-category bioplatform companies to transform human health and sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, the firm has, through its Flagship Labs unit, applied its unique hypothesis-driven innovation process to originate and foster more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in over $90 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship has deployed over $2.4 billion in capital toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $19 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions.