Cornell spinout Gotham Therapeutics has come out of stealth with a series A round co-led by SR One, Versant Ventures and Forbion.

US-based biotechnology startup Gotham Therapeutics emerged from stealth yesterday with $54m in a series A round co-led by SR One, the strategic investment arm of pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline.

The round was co-led by investment firm Versant Ventures and venture capital firm Forbion, and included pharmaceutical company Celgene and Alexandria Venture Investments, the VC arm of life sciences real estate investment trust Alexandria Real Estate Equities.

Gotham is working on drugs intended to work by modifying the messenger RNA (mRNA) that carries messages from the body’s DNA, to direct protein activity to fight diseases that have proven resistant to traditional approaches.

The company’s technology was discovered by co-founder Samie Jaffrey, a professor of pharmacology at Weill Cornell Medicine, a research unit at Cornell University.

SR One principal Jill Carroll will join Gotham’s board of directors in connection with the round, which followed an undisclosed amount of seed funding from founding investor Versant.

Gotham will use the series A funding to finalise clinical proof of concept for its technology as it looks to build a preclinical pipeline of drug candidates.

Lee Babiss, Gotham’s CEO, said: “As we pursue several important targets, the information we glean will help us further validate and build our platform for increasingly broad applications. Our goal is to become the leader in drugging key proteins that modulate mRNA functionality, thereby impacting disease onset and progression.”

This article was originally published on our sister site, Global Corporate Venturing.