ViaNautis raises Series A financing to drive the next generation of genetic nanomedicines

The nanomedicine company’s £20m fundraise was led by 4BIO Capital, BGF, and UCB Ventures.

13 November 2023

ViaNautis Bio, a ground-breaking nanomedicine company at the forefront of genetic therapies, has completed its Series A funding round, raising £20 million.

Formerly known as SomaServe, ViaNautis has secured support from a consortium of prominent global investors, enabling the advancement of its proprietary drug delivery platform, polyNaut®.

The polyNaut® platform applies advanced polymer materials and in silico screening to precisely guide genetic molecules such as pDNA, mRNA, siRNA and ASOs to their intended targets. Unlike conventional drug delivery methods, polyNaut® tackles the challenge of transporting genetic materials across biological barriers, advancing medicines for conditions with pressing unmet clinical needs.

The company’s pipeline includes VNS002, supported by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which focuses on identifying optimal formulation candidates for targeted delivery to the conducting airways in the lungs.

ViaNautis’ Series A fundraise was led by 4BIO Capital, BGF and UCB Ventures—with the additional participation of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Eli Lilly and Company, and existing investors, including Origin Capital, Meltwind and O2H.

The proceeds from the round will fuel the rapid development of products using the polyNaut® platform, and will be used to expand the scientific and management teams, and establish industry-leading laboratory facilities.

Lucy Edwardes Jones, Investor at BGF said: “ViaNautis’ polyNaut® technology represents a unique opportunity in the field of genetic therapies. This breakthrough creates a path for the development of innovative treatments for diseases that have remained unaddressed for too long. We are looking forward to supporting the team’s ambitious plans and collaborating closely with our co-investors to see this technology through to impact.”

ViaNautis was spun out of UCL in 2018, by co-founders Dr Francesca Crawford, Dr Denis Cecchin, and Professor Giuseppe Battaglia (inventor of polyNaut® and honorary professor at UCL). Professor Battaglia is also an ICREA professor and head of the Molecular Bionics Group at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, part of the Barcelona Institute for Science and Technology (IBEC).

Francesca Crawford, CEO of ViaNautis, commented: “This successful fundraise will empower us to expedite the deployment of proprietary polyNaut® technology which offers unparalleled access to the brain and other tissues, presenting significant opportunities to address both central nervous system (CNS) and lung diseases. As the cell and gene therapy field gains momentum, it is evident that safe and precise delivery remains a key bottleneck in developing new therapeutics.

“We are delighted to welcome our new investors and appreciate the support of our existing shareholders. We are also proud to be working with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation on one of our key pipeline programmes, underscoring our commitment to advancing treatments for people with cystic fibrosis—a multisystemic disease affecting the lungs, pancreas, and other organs and other individuals with unmet clinical needs. This fundraise marks a pivotal moment in ViaNautis’ journey and we look forward to advancing the field of gene therapy while creating substantial value for our shareholders.”

Latest insights