Etherna Manufacturing

// august 23, 2022

mRNA leading expert Kenneth Chien and Novalis LifeSciences’ Marijn Dekkers investing in EUR 39M Series B2 financing of mRNA technology platform company eTheRNA

  • Financing round led by Novalis LifeSciences LLC

  • Both investors Dr. Marijn Dekkers and Moderna’s co-founder Dr. Kenneth Chien to join the board of directors

  • Strategic focus includes customized lipid nanoparticles (cLNPs)

  • Current COO Bernard Sagaert appointed interim-CEO

Niel, Belgium, August 23, 2022 – eTheRNA (“the Company”), a leading mRNA technologies company, announced today that it has raised €39M in a Series B2 financing to expand investment in its integrated mRNA technology platform and further pursue its new initiatives for a partnership-driven business strategy. The round was led by Novalis LifeSciences with participation from Professor Kenneth Chien, a world- renowned expert in mRNA technology and its therapeutic applications. Existing investors, including LSP (now EQT Life Sciences), PMV, Grand Pharma, Fund+, Omega Fund, and others, also participated in the financing.

Concurrent with this investment round, the two new investors Dr. Kenneth Chien, co-founder of Moderna Therapeutics and professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and Dr. Marijn Dekkers, founder and chairman of Novalis LifeSciences LLC and former CEO of Bayer AG and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., will join the company’s board of directors. In addition, eTheRNA announced the departure of its CEO, Steven Powell, and the appointment of current COO, Bernard Sagaert, as interim-CEO.

Since eTheRNA was founded in 2013, the Company has established an integrated set of proprietary capabilities for an end-to-end solution to design, develop and manufacture next-generation mRNA products based on enabling technologies. eTheRNA’s new business model will utilize this suite of capabilities to provide superior products for partners in both early-stage research as well as later-stage development for mRNA therapeutics. eTheRNA will leverage its proprietary molecular designs, lipid biochemistry expertise, customized lipid nanoparticle formulations (cLNPs), mRNA-based T cell adjuvants, and advanced manufacturing processes to overcome the current challenges facing the development of mRNA therapeutics. By expanding its significant expertise in designing, synthesizing, and manufacturing cLNPs with a spectrum of properties suitable for a range of prophylactic and therapeutic indications, this innovative business model will allow the company to accelerate near-term revenue growth through technology licensing and mRNA cGMP manufacturing services for multiple future partners.

Kenneth Chien, a Distinguished Professor of the Swedish Research Council at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden said: “I am delighted to be joining eTheRNA as both an investor and board member. eTheRNA’s specialized expertise and proprietary knowledge in mRNA technologies and cLNPs are consistent with my vision of the future in which cLNPs of increasingly sophisticated design will lead to novel applications in a range of currently untreatable diseases. I am looking forward to applying my knowledge and expertise to assist eTheRNA realize this ambition.”

Marijn Dekkers, chairman of Novalis LifeSciences, said: “We are excited to lead this new funding round for eTheRNA, and help propel the company to contribute its breakthrough technologies to the development of mRNA-based therapeutics, an area that is full of unimaginable opportunities as the coronavirus (COVID- 19) vaccine has shown us.”

“I would like to thank Steven Powell for his dedication and professional guidance over the last four years and positioning the company for this latest round of funding,” said Russell Greig, chairman of eTheRNA. “It is also my pleasure to welcome Bernard as the interim-CEO. In his previous capacity as COO, Bernard has been instrumental in building eTheRNA’s manufacturing and processing technologies, and I look forward to continue working with him to drive the company to a new level of operational and commercial performance.”

“Similarly, I am delighted to welcome Marijn and Kenneth, both of whom bring extraordinary skills to the board of eTheRNA. Marijn has enjoyed a highly successful career both in the life sciences industry and as an investor. Kenneth, as co-founder of Moderna, with deep expertise in the application of mRNA/LNPs in the prevention and treatment of previously unapproachable disease states, brings an unparalleled level of expertise that is perfectly aligned with our vision for the future of eTheRNA.”

“The capital raised from this latest funding round, coupled with our new leadership, provide a solid foundation for growing our investment in eTheRNA’s state of the art technologies in mRNA and cLNPs technology platform. Through this investment, we expect to forge new strategic, global partnerships which can ultimately lead to unprecedented progress in treating a range of pathological diseases”, added Russell Greig.

About eTheRNA
eTheRNA is an mRNA technology platform company with integrated capabilities including mRNA construct design and optimization, coupled with specialized expertise in designing and manufacturing customized lipid nanoparticles (cLNP) formulations tailored for the prevention and treatment of various pathological states, providing end-to-end solutions for next generation mRNA therapeutics. The company believes that customized LNPs are critical enablers in advancing mRNA technologies to new levels of prophylactic and therapeutic utility. www.etherna.be

About Novalis LifeSciences LLC
Novalis LifeSciences is an investment and advisory firm for the Life Science industry that was founded in 2017 by Marijn E. Dekkers. With a team of experienced operating executives from the Life Science industry, Novalis funds and advises visionary Life Science entrepreneurs. In addition to making financial investments, Novalis provides strategic and operational advice to portfolio companies that are at a critical growth stage in their development. www.novalislifesciences.com

Company Contact:
Bernard Sagaert media@etherna.be

Investor Contact:
John Fraunces
LifeSci Advisors, LLC
917-355-2395
jfraunces@lifesciadvisors.com