Ractigen Therapeutics is an early-stage pharmaceutical company committed to bringing to market first-in-class therapies designed to selectively restore the expression of therapeutic genes silenced in diseased cells. Its core technology is based on a paradigm-shifting discovery made at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) known as RNA activation (RNAa). Founded in 2016 by the pioneers in the field, Ractigen is developing a rich pipeline of candidate medicines for patients with unmet need.
About the name Ractigen: Ractigen (răk’tijən) signifies RNA activates genes.
Ractigen Therapeutics has raised 50 million RMB (~8 million USD) in venture financing and occupies a 2400-sqr meter, four-storied building in the modern Industry Park of Life and Health Science of Rudong, Jiangsu, China.
Ractigen is devoted to creating groundbreaking therapeutics based on a revolutionary technique called RNAa (RNA activation). Our platform utilizes short, non-coding oligonucleotides to specifically target and up-regulate therapeutic genes inside cells of the body. RNAa offers a natural approach to increase endogenous messenger RNA and protein production in absence of recombinant DNA overexpression system (e.g. viral gene therapies). Our goal is to offer a practical solution to combat disease at the genetic and epigenetic level.
Ractigen is led by a cohesive team of scientists and professionals with a broad background in oligonucleotide research and drug development including the inventors of the RNAa technology, biotech entrepreneurs, and experts in drug discovery.
With a background of 13 years’ experience as a physician and 20 years in basic research, Dr. Li co-founded Ractigen Therapeutics in 2016. Prior to that, he held an Associate Professor in Residence position in the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) until 2015 and a Professor position at Peking Union Medical College Hospital of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences until 2017. His seminal work on small RNA-guided gene activation has led to the emergence of a new research field, now known as RNAa. He has authored or co-authored over 80 publications which have received over 8000 citations. He is the inventors of 4 issued and 2 pending US patents. He received multiple research grants from both governmental and non-governmental organizations including a NIH Director's Transformative R01 (T-R01) Award in 2009. He is an invited speaker at many national and international conferences, universities and companies around the world.
Dr. Place has unparalleled expertise in the field of RNAa with an entrepreneurial background in biotech spanning nearly 10 years. He was a key scientific lead working alongside Dr. Li during the initial discovery of RNAa and helmed the team collaboration between Alnylam Pharmaceutics,
Dr. Moo Rim Kang received his Ph.D. in Pharmacy from Chungnam National University, Korea in 2008. In August 2010, he joined the Li lab at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) as a postdoctoral fellow. His postdoctoral work involves the anti-tumor effect of NKX3-1 activation by RNAa (RNA activation) and small activating dsRNA-based therapeutics targeting CDKN1A for the treatment of bladder cancer. Dr. Kang is a well-trained research scientist specialized in cancer biology and focused on evaluation of drug candidates not only small molecules but also small nucleic acids including saRNA. He has extensive experience with in vivo studies such as human tumor xenografts, live surgery and immunohistochemistry and has strong technical skills in molecular/cellular biology. He has authored and co-authored over 30 peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Kang joined Ractigen Therapeutics in December 2016. Prior to that, he was the team leader in degenerative arthritis research company (Garam E&C) in Korea.