Arpeggio Bio, a preclinical company whose technology provides a mechanistic understanding of how drugs work, recently announced that it has closed a $3.2 million seed financing round, which was oversubscribed by over $2 million. Funding will support the ongoing development of a nascent RNA drug screen.
“We’re excited to have the support of our investors to allow us to continue our mission of helping bring new therapies to patients with epigenetically-driven diseases,” said Joey Azofeifa, Ph.D., Co-founder and CEO of Arpeggio.
Arpeggio has built an automated system that collects information about which genes turn on or off for hundreds of time points beginning in the minutes following drug treatment in preclinical models. Using algorithms originally developed for financial forecasting, Arpeggio reconstructs the biological network a drug affects and identifies the genes critical for the success or failure of a drug. This new kind of data allows for the elucidation of novel drug and disease mechanisms, supporting development of safer, more effective therapies by understanding drug effects before they’re given to patients.
Since inception in 2018, Arpeggio has partnered with over twenty biotech and pharmaceutical companies — including four of the world’s top 10 — to uncover new insights into their therapeutics. Arpeggio’s early market traction and progress led it to be selected for the prestigious Y Combinator’s (YC) Summer 2019 batch, which provides emerging startups with funding and mentorship. Following a successful program tenure, Dr. Azofeifa’s YC Demo Day pitch attracted distinguished investors to lead a funding round, including Khosla Ventures, FundersClub, Fifty Years, TechU, and YC.
The company's platform analyzes its time-series RNA profiles using proprietary machine learning algorithms developed by Dr. Azofeifa. Driven by Arpeggio’s success, Dr. Azofeifa was recently named to the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 List in the Healthcare category, recognizing him as one of the country’s top young entrepreneurs.
Arpeggio's technology originated from the lab of Dr. Robin Dowell, an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and the BioFrontiers Institute. She is also a co-founder of Arpeggio Bio and holds a patent for the assessment of transcription factor activity.
Over the past year, Arpeggio has utilized resources from Venture Partners at CU Boulder to accelerate commercialization efforts. These include:
- Pitch coaching through the Commercialization Academy
- Mentorship through the Commercialization Network
- Presenting at the inaugural Destination Startup 2019 showcase
- Participating in Research-to-Market, a Commercialization Academy customer discovery program