Eleven Therapeutics receives a notice of award from Innovate UK Smart Grants
Funding will enable Eleven to assess the efficacy of its investigational RNAi therapeutics to block transmission of flu viruses
Dec 18th, 2021
CAMBRIDGE, UK — Eleven Therapeutics, a biotechnology company leading the AI revolution in nucleic acid therapies, announced today that it has received a notice of award from the Innovate UK Smart Grants programme. The £300,000 grant will allow Eleven to conduct an extensive assessment of its hyper-potent siRNA cocktail therapeutics and assess their ability to block transmission of this pandemic-poised virus.
Innovate UK is the United Kingdom’s innovation agency, operating as part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a non-departmental national funding body investing in science and research in the UK. Innovate UK’s Smart Grants are awarded annually to UK organisations for “game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy”.
Starting in late 2021, researchers at Eleven Therapeutics identified hyper-potent siRNAs that target respiratory RNA viruses for the purpose of developing prophylaxis and advanced therapeutics,including against influenza and SARS-CoV-2. Using Sens.AI, Eleven’s premier discovery platform, the team tiled the genomes of over 20,000 flu strains in order to identify and then synthesise thousands of potentially safe and effective RNAi therapeutic candidates. With its proprietary massively parallel bio-engineered screening platform, the team selected the most potent candidates for advanced, live-virus experiments. The Innovate UK Smart Grant will allow the team to test the efficacy of the identified candidates in blocking transmission in swine, a broadly-accepted disease model with acute relevance to species-hopping into humans.
“The awarded funding advances our groundbreaking work in the fight against influenza,” said Prof. Yaniv Erlich, co-founder and CEO of Eleven Therapeutics. “Swine is a very important model for Influenza, since pigs are naturally infected by this virus and their airway physiology recapitulates key parallel features of humans’. If we are able to determine that our siRNA investigational candidates can block transmission in swine, it will bring us significantly closer to novel and highly effective prophylactics against flu in humans. This is a particularly exciting setting as it will allow us to prevent not only death and severe disease, but also viral transmission of influenza — halting the vicious cycle of infection and mitigating the devastatingly high mortality and morbidity rates, which could also reduce the likelihood of novel viral mutations giving rise to resistant and more virulent strains.”
About Eleven Therapeutics
Eleven Therapeutics ushers in the next generation of RNAi therapeutics by combining artificial intelligence (AI), massively parallel functional assays, and combinatorial chemistry. Its flagship invention features a new modality, dubbed SCSI-RNA™ (single-chassis, small interfering RNA), a fully programmable molecule, rationally designed to address the delivery, durability, and efficacy challenges of any disease and biological target of interest. Founded in 2020 by a group of globally-leading, interdisciplinary scientists, Eleven Therapeutics brings new RNAi therapeutics for patients in need by capitalising on some of the world’s best pools of talent through its three collaborative hubs — in Cambridge, UK; Boston, U.S.; and Tel Aviv, Israel. Eleven is currently focusing its development pipeline on siRNA treatments for a range of respiratory diseases. To learn more, visit www.eleventx.com.
Prof. Yaniv Erlich
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
Dr. Iris Grossman
Chief Strategy Officer