Authored by James Sheppard
The US based biotechnology company, Audentes Therapeutics has raised $30m in Series A funding. The round was led by US based venture capital firm OrbiMed Advisors. The round also included notable investors including 5AM Ventures and Versant Ventures.
Audentes Therapeutics is developing gene therapy for the treatment of x-linked myotubular myopathy (XLMTM) and Pompe Disease. AT001 (XLMTM) and AT002 (Pompe) are the companies lead assets however it is hoped that the funding will allow for research into other areas. Primarily the money will be used to develop these two assets which are currently in pre-clinical development in the USA.
“This financing is a tremendous step forward for the development of new potential treatments for patients affected by very serious orphan muscle diseases. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with such a fantastic group of people who share our vision for success in bringing these therapies to patients,” said Matthew R. Patterson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Audentes.
The field of gene therapy has seen resurgence in recent times with companies such as UniQure and Blubirdbio leading the way, while many other companies and academic spin outs are advancing technologies in this sector. The funding, which is a considerable series A round points to the interest investors have in gene therapy currently and the desire of syndicates to provide substantial round up front to enable the company to really advance their programmes before returning to the well.
With UniQure achieving regulatory approval in Europe for Glybera, the gene therapy area came back into focus. However, much focus remains on the pricing of Glybera and how successful the commercialisation of this product will now be through UniQure’s alliance partner Chiesi.
The Audentes Board of Directors will consist of Jonathan Silverstein (OrbiMed Advisors), who will serve as Chairman, Kush Parmar, M.D., Ph.D. (5AM Ventures), Thomas Woiwode, Ph.D. (Versant Ventures), Thomas J. Schuetz, M.D., Ph.D., who will act as an independent director, and Mr. Patterson.