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Gene Therapy Start-up AAVLife raises $12m

Authored by James Sheppard

The Paris based biotechnology company, AAVLife announced that it had raised $12m in series A funding for its gene therapy assets. The funding round, led by Versant Ventures, will be used to advance a gene-deleting therapy for Friedreich’s Ataxia.

AAVLife was founded as a spin out from work done at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM). The preclinical work which was recently published in Nature Medicine showed a great deal of promise and the company has stated it intends to trial the gene therapy in humans in 2015.

In order to achieve its objectives, AAVLife has assembled an impressive team of gene therapy experts. The company will be led by ex-GSK R&D executive Amber Salzman who played a major role in getting the first gene therapy trial for adrenoleukodystrophy. Alongside Dr Salzman, AAVLife can call on a host of leading academics including Pierre Aubourg, Dr Pierre Bougneres, Dr Ronald Crystal and Dr Helene Puccio.

With a strong leadership team and money from Versant Ventures and Inserm Transfert Initiative the company is well placed to advance its gene therapy for the estimated 20,000 Friedriech’s Ataxia patients in the US and Europe.

Liftstream is an executive search and interim management recruitment company working exclusively within the global life science sector. Liftstream is proud to support rare disease day 2014. 

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