After raising $158M, this upstart’s founders have star backers and plans to break new ground in gene therapy

Back in 2014, Stephanie Tagliatela opted to take an early exit out of her PhD program after working in Mark Bear?s lab at MIT, where she specialized in the synaptic connections between neuronal cells in the brain. She never finished that PhD, but she and fellow MIT student Kartik Ramamoorthi ? who was on the founding team at Voyager ? came away with some ideas for a gene therapy startup.

Today, fully 5 years later, she and Ramamoorthi are taking the wraps off of a $104 million mega-round designed to take the cumulative work of their preclinical formative stage for Encoded Therapeutics into human studies. They?ve now raised $158 million since starting out in Illumina?s incubator in the Bay Area, and they believe they are firmly on track to do something unique in gene therapy.