AstronauTx completes £48M funding for new Alzheimer's Disease therapies

By Liza Laws

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags Alzheimer's disease series A funding Pipeline neurodegenerative diseases investors

Biotech company, AstronauTx Ltd yesterday (October 9) announced the completion of a £48 million ($61 million) Series A financing.

The company that develops treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurodegenerative disorders will use the proceeds to advance a portfolio of programs taking its lead molecule into clinical trials.

The financing was led by the Novartis Venture Fund attracting capital from several leading global venture investors, including Brandon Capital, Bristol Myers Squibb, EQT Life Sciences investing from the LSP Dementia Fund, MPM Capital with participation from current investor, the Dementia Discovery Fund.

Marianne Uteng, managing director at the Novartis Venture Fund, said: “We are proud to have gathered a stellar international syndicate that aims to develop new therapies for Alzheimer’s Disease. The founders and investors include world experts in neuroscience, and the founder’s discovery is thought to have potential in halting disease progression and improve patients’ quality of life.”

AstronauTx was created by the Dementia Discovery Fund in 2019 with additional seed stage funding from the UCL Technology Fund and the UK Future Fund, with the goal of developing novel drugs to correct the disrupted physiology of the brain, partly through improving the support function of astrocytes, the most abundant cell type in the brain.

Ruth McKernan, co-founder of AstronauTx, said: “We now know that the processes causing Alzheimer’s and other similar diseases are modifiable.  Progress towards a compendium of new drugs against these devastating diseases is thankfully well underway. Our treatments will be oral drugs, applicable across multiple neurodegenerative conditions, and additive with mechanisms that are currently in late-stage development.”

AstronauTx awarded Innovate UK grant

In July 2023, AstronauTx announced a partnership with Saniona, a Danish biotechnology company, to identify new treatments by modulating a novel, undisclosed ion channel target, expanding the company’s portfolio of programmes.  In September 2023, AstronauTx was awarded an Innovate UK grant to fund preclinical work on one of its programmes.

The proceeds of the Series A financing will be used to advance the company’s portfolio of small-molecule drugs, including a clinical study in patients with Alzheimer’s disease for the lead programme. The treatments are expected to provide both symptomatic and disease modifying benefits.

Laurence Barker, Partner with the Dementia Discovery Fund, said: “DDF led the creation of AstronauTx to pursue the development of novel mechanisms to treat Alzheimer’s and the lean team have done a fantastic job building an exciting early-stage portfolio. We are thrilled to see their hard work recognised by this leading venture syndicate and raise sufficient capital to advance these novel approaches into patients.” 

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