Flagship Pioneering Launches Alltrna to Unlock Transfer RNA Biology and Treat Thousands of Diseases with a Single tRNA Medicine

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Flagship Pioneering today announced the expansion of its portfolio of RNA based bioplatform companies with the unveiling of Alltrna, the first transfer RNA (tRNA) platform company to unlock tRNA biology and pioneer tRNA therapeutics to regulate the protein universe and resolve disease. Founded at Flagship Labs in 2018, Alltrna has mapped tRNA biology to systematically design tRNA medicines and encode a completely new, unifying approach to treating both rare and common human diseases driven by shared genetic mutations. Flagship's initial commitment to Alltrna is $50 million.

"Alltrna builds on the more than decade long exploration, conducted at Flagship Labs, focusing on the RNA world as a source of programmable therapeutic modalities," said Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., Cofounder and Chairman of Alltrna and CEO of Flagship Pioneering. "With Alltrna's platform we are leveraging tRNAs as the critical gatekeepers of protein production to target our central translation code for unprecedented therapeutic effect."

tRNAs not only play a central role in the translation of mRNA into proteins, but also are programmable molecules with a diverse biology of modifications and fragments that execute the complex code of multicellular life. Alltrna's platform harnesses the combinatorial potential of the hundred-plus different modifications possible at each nucleotide position that are key to tRNA structure, function, and stability. The stable structure, small size, and vast diversity of tRNAs make them natural drugs. Alltrna uses all of this information to design, modify, produce, and deliver tRNA molecules as new therapeutics.

"We have built the world's first tRNA therapeutic platform by combining the extensive learnings at Flagship in RNA design and delivery with a reinforced learning framework that unlocks the relationship of tRNA modality to biological output, disease application, and drug design," said Lovisa Afzelius, Ph.D., Origination Partner at Flagship Pioneering and Founding CEO of Alltrna. "Since the company's founding, we have established a deep understanding of tRNA biology and its diverse combinatorial modifications to systematically design, program, and deliver tRNAs to correct disease."

Alltrna's platform combines internal expertise and proprietary machine learning tools to unlock the entire tRNA biology space. Alltrna has an unprecedented opportunity to advance a single tRNA medicine to restore disrupted protein production, regardless of target, for thousands of diseases with the same underlying genetic mutation. Furthermore, Alltrna is looking beyond the role of tRNAs in properly adding amino acids into a final protein product and leverage how tRNA biology can provide an entire framework for the regulation and expression of the protein universe to treat disease.

"tRNAs are complex signaling molecules with their own syntax that provides them unprecedented adaptive mechanisms to control protein production, and ultimately, cell destiny," explained Theonie Anastassiadis, Ph.D., Principal at Flagship Pioneering and Cofounder and Chief Innovation Officer of Alltrna. "At Alltrna, we have discovered how to speak the language of tRNA biology, providing a new therapeutic framework and flipping the current paradigm of target-driven drug development."

A number of diseases, rare and common, stem from the same nonsense mutation, where the code for an amino acid has been mutated into a “stop” codon. This results in a truncated or shortened protein product that causes disease. Alltrna has designed a tRNA that can specifically read these stop codons and deliver the desired amino acid, thereby restoring the production of the full-length protein.

About Alltrna

Alltrna unlocks tRNA biology to correct disease. The company's platform incorporates AI/ML tools to learn the tRNA language and deliver diverse programmable molecules with broad therapeutic potential. Alltrna has an unprecedented opportunity to advance a single tRNA medicine to unify treatment across a wide range of diseases with the same underlying genetic mutation. Alltrna was founded in 2018 by Flagship Pioneering.

About Flagship Pioneering

Flagship Pioneering conceives, creates, resources, and develops first-in-category bioplatform companies to transform human health and sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, the firm has, through its Flagship Labs unit, applied its unique hypothesis-driven innovation process to originate and foster more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in more than $140 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship has deployed over $2.6 billion in capital toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $19 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions. The current Flagship ecosystem comprises 42 transformative companies, including Axcella Health (Nasdaq: AXLA), Codiak BioSciences (Nasdaq: CDAK), Denali Therapeutics (Nasdaq: DNLI), Evelo Biosciences (Nasdaq: EVLO), Foghorn Therapeutics (Nasdaq: FHTX), Indigo Ag, Kaleido Biosciences (Nasdaq: KLDO), Moderna (Nasdaq: MRNA), Omega Therapeutics (Nasdaq: OMGA), Rubius Therapeutics (Nasdaq: RUBY), Sana Biotechnology (Nasdaq: SANA), Seres Therapeutics (Nasdaq: MCRB), and Sigilon Therapeutics (Nasdaq: SGTX).

Media Contact for Alltrna

Jessica Yingling, Ph.D.
Little Dog Communications Inc.