PHILADELPHIA, April 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Panorama Medicine (“Panorama”), a genomics and computing powered drug discovery company focusing on RNA therapeutics, has raised a $3.7 million seed round led by WI Harper Group and a number of other leading venture capital firms.
Panorama leverages core technologies licensed from academic partners and will use the proceeds from the financing to expand its scientific team, build a robust screening and big data discovery platform, and continue drug development efforts.
Panorama was launched in 2018 and co-founded by leading scientists in RNA genomics and computational biology. Dr. Yi Xing is Professor and Director of the Center for Computational and Genomic Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). He has developed some of the most fundamental algorithms and widely-used computational tools for interpreting large-scale RNA data. Dr. Douglas Black, Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics at the University of California Los Angeles, is a renowned RNA biologist who has made pioneering discoveries about RNA-level gene regulation in health and disease.
Abnormal RNA processing and regulation cause a wide range of human diseases. RNA therapeutics, which involves the modulation of RNA-level processes with therapeutic agents, is a rapidly developing frontier for drug discovery and development, as evidenced by recent breakthroughs in treating disorders arising from RNA defects. RNA therapeutics greatly expands the catalog of druggable targets, providing new avenues of treatment for previously untreatable diseases.
“Many leading pharmas have dedicated extensive resources in genomics and computing to speed up drug discovery,” said Mingfu Zhu, another co-founder and the CEO of Panorama. “Panorama’s approach is unique in that it leverages the expertise of our team in RNA genomics and computational biology. We are developing a screening platform and associated core technologies to find drugs that can treat diseases caused by errors during RNA processing.” Dr. Zhu had previously assumed executive roles at leading biotech companies in the US and China, and was an Assistant Professor at Duke University Medical Center.
“WI Harper Group invests in cutting-edge technologies and appreciates the power of big data and artificial intelligence in healthcare applications,” added WI Harper Group Managing Director and Panorama board member Jimmy Lu. “Panorama is uniquely positioned to develop an AI-based drug discovery platform focusing on RNA therapeutics, and we are very proud to lead the initial financing round to support the company’s vision to find effective treatments for rare and common diseases.”
Panorama plans to grow quickly beyond its current team of scientific co-founders and four full-time Ph.D.-level employees. The company recently added Dr. Beverly Davidson, Director of the Raymond G. Perelman Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics and Chief Scientific Strategy Officer of CHOP, to its Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Davidson is the Vice President-elect of the Board of Directors for the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. She is a scientific co-founder of Spark Therapeutics and Talee Bio, and serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of Sarepta Therapeutics, Homology Medicines, Intellia Therapeutics, and Prevail Therapeutics.
About Panorama Medicine
Panorama Medicine is a VC-backed startup founded by a multidisciplinary team of world-renowned computational and experimental RNA biologists. Panorama has leveraged the founding team’s expertise to create a drug discovery platform that integrates genomics, big data, and computing to develop therapeutic interventions for RNA defects in disease. The Panorama platform is end-to-end, encompassing data production and analysis through validation of discoveries.
About WI Harper Group
WI Harper Group is a pioneering and leading cross-border venture capital firm investing in early and expansion stage companies across the US and Asia-Pacific. Headquartered in San Francisco, the firm oversees more than $1 billion in assets under management. Since inception nearly three decades ago, WI Harper has invested in hundreds of promising startups and has experienced a multitude of successful IPOs and M&A exits. WI Harper looks for innovative companies and visionary founders in healthcare and technology fields where there are high synergies and meaningful value-added cross-selling opportunities.