Exploiting the safety, stability and efficiency of circular RNAs as novel vectors for transient gene replacement therapy

Our mission

Born out of a collaboration between four members of the Fulga lab (WIMM, University of Oxford), Circulus Therapeutics set out to establish a disruptive technology platform centred on circular RNA. Our team has engineered CIRCLEs, an auto-circularising RNA molecule capable of mediating protein production in living cells. At Circulus Therapeutics, we firmly believe that CIRCLEs will become the gold standard modality by which exogenous genetic material can be efficiently and safely delivered to the body.

While our technology could prove useful in many medical sectors (allergies, vaccination, oncology, etc.), the company has chosen to focus on Cystic Fibrosis as a model system of great unmet clinical need. Despite persistent effort over the last 20 years, including 18 viral and 9 DNA vector trials, none of these products have yet been licenced for clinical use. As progress has been slowed down by hurdles intrinsic to the aforementioned modalities, we believe that it is time to explore new approached, RNA being a very promising option. Using CIRCLEs we can generate vectors more efficient than DNA, more stable yet less immunogenic than linear RNA and safer than virus vectors whilst at the same time being universally applicable to all CF patients. We see this as the perfect platform to showcase the power of circular RNA and unlock the floodgates to a new generation of gene therapies.


Our team

Circulus Therapeutics has been co-founded by four Oxford PhD students brought to same laboratory thanks to a shared passion for RNA biology. Led by Timothy Rajakumar, who designed and synthesised the first version of CIRCLEs, the team biggest asset relies in its diversity.

“Our team counts two Germans, one French and an Australian. It might sound a bit cheesy but this cultural diversity was highly beneficial from the start. Though our varied educational backgrounds might also have played a role”.

The team has extensive expertise in synthetic biology, RNA extraction technics, biomedical engineering, and business.

Find out more about Tim, Toni, Quentin and Bruno here.



Circulus Therapeutics is taking part in the 2015 edition of OneStart Europe! Initiative from SR One and the Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable (OBR), OneStart has rapidly grown to become the world’s largest life sciences and health care startup accelerator programme (discover more about OneStart).

In addition to the £100k seed found prize and infrastructures awarded to the winning team, the competition is a fantastic opportunity to network, pitch and get invaluable feedback from biotech gurus.

Check out the CT video shot by J&E Higham during the semi-final of the competition.