SHEFFIELD, UNITED KINGDOM — Rinri Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing a novel cell-based therapy to restore hearing, announced today that it successfully secured £1.4 million (approximately $1.8M USD) in seed funding.
The financing, which was co-led by Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and UCB Ventures and joined by BioCity, will support the ongoing growth of the company. In connection with the financing, Detlev Mennerich, PhD, Investment Director at Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund; Erica Whittaker, PhD, Head of UCB Ventures; and Claire Brown, PhD, Investment Director at BioCity have joined Rinri’s Board of Directors.
Novel Cell-Based Therapy for Hearing Restoration
Rinri, a spin out of Sheffield University, is based on the pioneering work of Professor Marcelo Rivolta (Chen et al. (2012) Nature, 490: 278-84), a recognized authority in the field of sensory stem cell biology.
Rinri’s underlying technology, based on stem cell research, seeks to reverse neuropathic sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) through the repair of the damaged cytoarchitecture in the inner ear. SNHL happens when there is damage to the hair cells in the cochlear and/or the auditory nerve.
In parallel with the financing, Rinri has appointed Dr Simon Chandler as CEO. Dr Chandler has a PhD in Molecular Biology, and following commercial roles in the biotechnology industry, spent the past four years at IP Group, where he was responsible for early stage investments and company-building for UK university life science spinouts.
“I am delighted that the Board has asked me to guide Rinri as we work to transition our exciting preclinical program into the clinic, and to move closer to the realisation of an effective treatment for the many patients with SNHL“
–Dr. Simon Chandler, CEO of Rinri Therapeutics.
There are currently no pharmacological treatments available for SNHL despite the rapid increase in the number of patients that suffer from this condition globally.
“We have known Marcelo and followed his ground-breaking research, which was published in Nature, for many years, and are pleased to contribute to the creation of Rinri. If the impressive pre-clinical in vivo regeneration data translate into human, the technology has the potential to be a game-changer in the way SNHL is being treated. We look forward to working with Rinri’s team to support its growth and help further realise the technology’s potential.”
—Dr Mennerich, Investment Director at Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund
About Rinri Therapeutics
Rinri Therapeutics is a private biotechnology company developing advanced stem cell-based therapeutics to restore hearing. The company’s pioneering technology seeks to reverse neuropathic sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) through the repair of the damaged cytoarchitecture in the inner ear.