Case Study: MiNA Therapeutics

Since the World Health Organisation declared the end of the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2023, the world has been shown the power of RNA technology to develop innovative treatments – in this case, several vaccines used messenger RNA, or mRNA.

In recent years, RNA interference (‘RNAi’) has been used to silence disease-causing genes. By contrast, MiNA’s small activating RNA (‘RNAa’) has the ability to regulate a patient’s existing genes, to compensate for faulty genes or boost healthy ones. This has the potential to cure rare genetic diseases such as Sickle Cell anaemia and Hurler’s disease, as well as treat cancer. 

Founded in 2008 by Prof. Nagy Habib, MiNA Therapeutics (also known as MiNA TX) is the only RNA company in the world developing these therapies at the clinical-stage.

Despite the technological proof points and clear need for these treatments, given the biotech market downturn investors started to feel jaded and halted major investments. Robin Wright, CFO at MiNA TX, approached Bootstrap Europe because of their reputation for their deep understanding and experience in the biotech industry.

Robin Wright told us: “We recognised that the industry as a whole, and society in general, needed this research and these treatments. However, the biotech industry was running out of money, something the sector is slowly starting to recover from. Finding investors who understood the deep-rooted challenges that the sector was feeling, why our end customers needed this, and most importantly, the future advancements that could derive from our research, was not easy – that was until we met Bootstrap Europe.”

Since working with Bootstrap Europe, MiNA TX has been able to further their research and looks to support many people who need these breakthrough medicines.

Wright stated: “Everything is researched in-house. The drugs that MiNA TX creates are for genetic diseases, such as sickle cell anemia, which impact millions of people across the world. We’re determined to find functional cures for this and many other illnesses down the line.”

These RNAa therapeutics are a revolutionary new class of medicines that can restore or boost normal function of genes in patients’ cells. As well as advancing a proprietary pipeline of new medicines with an initial focus on genetic medicine, MiNA TX collaborates with leading pharmaceutical companies including Eli Lilly and BioMarin Pharmaceutical to apply its technology platform across a broad range of therapeutic areas.

MiNA TX’s platform play is a huge new modality with significant advantages for treating many genetic and multifactorial diseases, meaning more resources were needed to progress multiple treatment programs. This led to the goal of finding a strategic venture debt partner who is committed to helping them grow.

Wright tells us: “Bootstrap Europe was critical to our funding journey throughout what has been a difficult environment for any growing biotech business. 

Although we took steps to be prudent across the company to elongate our runway, we knew we had to bring in investors who would have the time and care to understand the team, our mission and the business on an intimate level or it just wouldn’t work”.

MiNA TX’s future is looking incredibly bright. They plan to continue specific research across haematology, immuno-oncology, and cardio-metabolic programs. Furthermore, a Series B equity raise is planned for 2024. 

“Having worked as an investment banker myself for many years, you really get an eye and sense for who knows what they are doing and who doesn’t. Bootstrap Europe more than exceeded our expectations. They were incredibly professional; although they were empathic to the mission, and they conducted themselves in an incredibly direct, sensible and straightforward way when dealing with the agreement and throughout their due diligence on us. They work by clear and robust financial principles. It was so refreshing to talk with investors who not only understood the financial intricacies of the situation, but the science behind the mission and product.”

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