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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.

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