Creyon Bio announces $40M launch

March 9, 2022

San Diego biotech startup Creyon Bio has launched with the promise of bringing RNA-based precision medicines to patients — and $40 million in seed and series A funding.

The company says it is 'reimagining drug development,' using advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence to create precision medicines that it says can be distributed to populations ranging from 'one patient to millions.'

Those treatments will come in the form of short single strands of synthetic RNA- or DNA-based medicines, called oligonucleotide-based medicines (OBM). OBMs target the genetic and molecular causes of diseases. Creyon will create the medicines they bring to consumers efficiently and safely, without the need for traditional trial and error, said Creyon CEO and co-founder Chris Hart.

Co-founders Hart and Mukhopadhyay come from California-based Ionis Pharmaceuticals, which specializes in discovering and developing RNA-targeted therapies. At Ionis, Hart served as executive director of functional genomics until he left in October 2019 to found Creyon and Mukhopadhyay left his role as principal computational biologist at Ionis shortly after in January 2020.

“The Creyon Platform ultimately allows us to create safe and effective OBMs with exceptional efficiency, building a world where there is no gap between diagnosis and treatment,” said Mukhopadhyay.

Also joining the Creyon team are Nathan Billings and Monica McArthur. Billings will serve as chief strategy officer. He previously worked as director of intellectual property at Indigo, an agricultural tech company. McArthur, who will serve as chief technology officer, spent almost nine years working at Google as a senior staff software engineer.

The start-up funding was secured through investment groups DCVC Bio, Lux Capital, Alexandria Venture Investments and BioBrit.