Gene therapy developers rely on hollowed-out viruses to shuttle DNA into the body, where it can treat or potentially even cure a genetic disease. But most of the dozens of companies in the field use just two kinds of viruses for their DNA delivery. Carbon Biosciences hopes to expand that toolbox.
The Lexington, Mass., startup launched Tuesday with $38 million in series A financing to create a new class of gene therapies based on parvoviruses — a large family of viruses best known for infecting dogs, but comprised of many little-studied viruses that can infect humans and other animals, too.
Carbon president and chief executive Joel Schneider said that parvovirus-based gene therapies could lead to safer and more effective treatments than ones based on existing technologies. He also hopes that parvoviruses will be the key to making an effective gene therapy for cystic fibrosis, a longtime goal that has eluded the field for decades.
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