Dyne Therapeutics has launched in the US with $50m of series A funding to develop targeted therapies for the treatment of patients suffering from serious muscle diseases.

The biotechnology firm was founded by Atlas Venture, which led the series A financing round. Forbion and MPM Capital also joined the round.

To develop targeted therapies, Dyne Therapeutics will leverage its FORCE platform, which delivers nucleic acids and other molecules specifically to skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle.

Findings from preclinical studies suggest that the new approach could deliver oligonucleotides that destroy disease-causing RNA and potentially restore muscle health.

The company designed its lead programmes to ‘knock down’ gene expression in order to treat rare, monogenic neuromuscular disorders. It is focused on offering therapies for cardiac and smooth muscle diseases.

“Dyne’s breakthrough approach brings the power of modern oligo therapeutics and other payloads to patients with serious muscle diseases.”

Initially, Dyne Therapeutics will work to address a rare inherited condition called myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1).

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DM1, which impacts approximately 40,000 people in the US, causes muscle weakness and additional complications. It currently lacks disease-modifying treatments.

Dyne Therapeutics president and CEO Romesh Subramanian said: “We are launching with a singular goal: to change the lives of patients with DM1 and other serious muscle diseases. Our innovative approach makes this possible, and our commitment to patients and their families makes it necessary.”

Previously, Subramanian co-founded RaNA Therapeutics, now Translate Bio, and was responsible for new modality discovery research at Alexion Pharmaceuticals.

Atlas Venture partner Jason Rhodes and Dyne Therapeutics board of directors executive chairman said: “Dyne’s breakthrough approach brings the power of modern oligo therapeutics and other payloads to patients with serious muscle diseases.

“The combination of tissue-specific delivery, high potency and tolerability enable a broad product pipeline. We are pleased to be working with Dyne’s exceptional team and SAB and to have Forbion and MPM Capital as partners as we build the company together.”