AlidaBio lands $7.5m to advance epigenetic analysis technology

Company launches suite of multi-omics tools to enable ‘next-generation’ epigenetic analysis via multiplexed detection of RNA modifications.

Epigenomic research technology company Alida Biosciences has successfully secured $7.5 million in Series A funding and announced the “early access” launch of its first epitranscriptomic analysis products. The company says its tools enable researchers to concurrently analyze and quantify multiple RNA modifications, supported by bioinformatics.

The epigenome, and the changes that occur within it, is an area of keen interest in the longevity field. The study of epitranscriptomics focuses on the biochemical changes that occur at the RNA level and is highly relevant in aging research, particularly when it comes to the regulation of RNA function, cellular processes, and the regenerative capacity of tissue.

Epitranscriptomic dysfunction is linked to several age-related diseases, including neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases, and it is thought that exploring these alterations may reveal predictors of health and lifespan and identify therapeutic targets to mitigate aging and related diseases.

Founded in 2020 and based in San Diego, AlidaBio is on a mission to transform epigenomics by creating accessible tools that expand the application of epitranscriptomics in life sciences. The company’s EpiPlex RNA Library Prep Kit and EpiScout Analysis Suite provide a solution for multiplexed epitranscriptomic analysis of input-limited clinical research RNA samples.

The EpiPlex RNA Library Prep Kit is designed to enable advanced epitranscriptomic research by allowing multiplexed detection of RNA modifications. The company says the kit is especially suited for profiling multiple RNA modifications in clinical research samples with limited RNA input, such as tissue samples, clinical biopsies and other native biological materials, which typically provide small quantities of RNA.

The EpiScout Analysis Suite is a bioinformatics platform for analyzing and visualizing complex epitranscriptomic data, simplifying data interpretation and providing tools for researchers to explore RNA modifications and integrate multi-omic data sets.

“We observed ease-of-use going from input RNA to sequence-ready libraries all in one kit, time savings and usability for situations with limited amounts of RNA, and lower background than other methods,” said beta customer Dr Daniel Kuppers of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

“We are excited to introduce the EpiPlex RNA Library Prep Kit and the EpiScout Analysis Suite, and to accelerate our technology development in the multiplexed RNA modification detection space,” said Dr Gudrun Stengel, CEO of AlidaBio. “The strong support from our investors reflects our shared enthusiasm in building research tools needed to uncover new insights into RNA biology and advance the field of epitranscriptomics.”

The funding round was led by Genoa Ventures, with additional investments from FusionX Ventures and Vertical Venture Partners. In addition to putting the technology into the hands of early customers, the company says the funding will accelerate and enhance its product development efforts.

“AlidaBio has created a technical yet elegant solution to uncover hidden regulatory information on RNA, scalable with current NGS technology,” said Landon Merrill, principal at Genoa Ventures.

AlidaBio also revealed it has been awarded two ongoing Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants totaling $4 million from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).  

Photograph: RossHelen/Envato