Laverock lands £13.5m to advance gene silencing technology

British gene-silencing technology company Laverock Therapeutics has secured £13.5 million in a seed funding round. The round was led by Calculus Capital, with participation from Eli Lilly and Company, Mercia Ventures, Maven Capital Partners, Eos, UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund and Tekfen Ventures.

Laverock was founded in 2021 to harness the potential of its gene editing induced gene silencing (GEiGS) technology for human therapeutic applications. The company’s platform is designed to facilitate the creation of therapies that are both programmable and adaptive, with functionality that responds to both intra- and extra-cellular cues.

GEiGS operates by employing universal gene editing tools to make minimal adjustments to non-coding genes, redirecting their silencing capabilities (RNA interference) toward a new target gene.

Laverock will use the new funding to advance the development of the GEiGS technology and its regenerative medicine and immuno-oncology programs. The company’s initial focus is on Type I diabetes and the creation of responsive T-cell and macrophage-based immune therapies for solid tumors.

“GEiGS is already showing significant potential to transform the safety and efficacy of advanced therapies and we are excited that this new investment will allow us to progress towards pre-clinical candidate selection,” said David Venables, CEO of Laverock. “We’re pleased to welcome such an experienced group of investors on board, bringing extensive sector expertise which will help us to grow as a company and accelerate the development of targeted, responsive treatments.”

Next steps for Laverock include rigorous in vitro and in vivo validation processes, and the company also intends to bolster its team and expand its laboratory facilities.

“We are delighted to support Laverock and its exceptional management team, led by CEO David Venables, as the company embarks on its next phase of expansion, pioneering a new era of programmable advanced therapies,” Elizabeth Klein, Investment Director at Calculus. “We backed David’s previous venture, Synpromics, which delivered an exceptional return for Calculus investors in 2019.”

Photograph: Laverock Therapeutics