Korro Bio’s lead programme for AATD can potentially edit the genetic mutation in RNA instead of altering DNA. Credit: MattL_Images /

Korro Bio has signed a definitive merger agreement with Frequency Therapeutics to create a genetic medicines firm.

The merged business will advance the portfolio of Korro Bio, which comprises ribonucleic acid (RNA) editing programmes.

Korro Bio also received financing commitments totalling $117m from a number of life sciences investors.

The funding was jointly led by Cormorant Asset Management and Surveyor Capital, with Atlas Venture, NEA, Platanus, Qiming Venture Partners USA and MP Healthcare Venture Management among others taking part.

The merged entity will hold $170m in cash at completion.

It is anticipated that the pro-forma cash balance will give the merged company a cash runway through a number of value-generating milestones and into 2026. 

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Korro Bio is currently progressing its lead programme for treating alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) into clinic.

This programme can potentially edit the genetic mutation in RNA instead of altering deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). 

The company plans to file submissions for the therapy to regulators in the second half of 2024. 

The boards of directors of Korro Bio and Frequency have granted unanimous approval for the deal, and subject to conditions and approvals it is anticipated to conclude in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The combined company will operate under Korro Bio and will be headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US. 

Korro Bio CEO Ram Aiyar stated: “RNA editing, specifically utilising our OPERA platform, holds significant promise to transform the therapeutic landscape for rare and common diseases. 

“The power of our OPERA platform is exemplified by our lead programme in AATD, where we have demonstrated an increase of normal A1AT protein to 85% of total protein in circulation, which has the potential of disease-modifying effects.”

Cell & Gene Therapy coverage on Pharmaceutical Technology is supported by Cytiva.

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