AviadoBio™ Raises $80 million in Series A Financing to Advance Neurodegenerative Gene Therapy Platform
- Series A led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and co-led by Monograph Capital follows seeding by Advent Life Sciences, Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF), F-Prime Capital, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC), and LifeArc
- AviadoBio’s unique platform combines next-generation gene therapy design with deep neuroscience expertise and a novel neuroanatomy-led approach to drug delivery
- Co-founded by leading neurologist and neuroscientist Professor Christopher Shaw, molecular neurobiologist Dr Youn Bok Lee and vector biologist Dr Do Young Lee from King’s College London and the UK Dementia Research Institute
- Lisa Deschamps appointed Chief Executive Officer, bringing 25 years of industry and extensive gene therapy experience
London, UK, December 2, 2021 — AviadoBio Ltd, a pioneering gene therapy company focused on developing and delivering transformative medicines for people living with neurodegenerative disorders, announced today the successful completion of an $80 million (£58.6 million) Series A financing round, following an initial $16.5 million (£12 million) seed financing. The funds will be used to advance AviadoBio’s lead program in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) into the clinic, progress its preclinical assets, including for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), whilst continuing to expand its industry-leading team.
The financing was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and co-led by Monograph Capital, with participation from LSP, as well as seed investors Advent Life Sciences, Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF), F-Prime Capital, JJDCand medical research charity LifeArc.
AviadoBio’s technology was developed in the laboratory of Christopher Shaw, Professor of Neurology and Neurogenetics at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, with the support of the UK Dementia Research Institute, the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and the Van Geest Foundation and, incubated by F-Prime Capital and JJDC.
“Whilst neurodegenerative conditions are focal at onset, the pathology eventually spreads throughout the nervous system. We have seen that modifying gene expression can be curative, but achieving widespread distribution is the greatest challenge. We have shown that precision micro dosing to neural networks will deliver broad CNS expression, providing safe and effective treatments,” said Prof. Christopher Shaw, Co-founder and Chief Scientific and Clinical Advisor of AviadoBio. “We are directly exploiting insights into the causes of diseases to design therapies that have the potential to cure patients for whom there are no effective treatments. I believe that AviadoBio has the potential to move neurodegeneration from palliation to prevention.”
Shaw added: “AviadoBio’s unique platform combines next-generation gene therapy design with deep neuroscience expertise and a novel neuroanatomy-led approach to drug delivery. Precision micro dosing achieves extensive gene expression throughout the nervous system, maximizing the therapeutic potential for patients living with devastating neurological diseases.”
The Company is led by recently appointed Chief Executive Officer and Board member Lisa Deschamps, former Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer at Novartis Gene Therapies. Lisa brings more than 25 years of biopharma experience including leading the global neuroscience business of Novartis and the worldwide commercialization of its gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy.
“I am excited about the promise we can bring to people living with neurodegenerative disease, where a significant unmet medical need remains with only symptomatic therapies currently available. Our differentiated approach has the potential to transform the treatment landscape and we have the opportunity with our group of experienced investors, our advisors and founders, to change the lives of people living with these debilitating conditions,” said Lisa Deschamps, Chief Executive Officer. “The expansion of our team and investor syndicate, positions AviadoBio to make this mission a reality while advancing the field.”
As part of the Series A financing, Matt McAviney, Partner at NEA and Tim Funnell, Partner at Monograph Capital have been appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors. They are joined by Amber Salzman and Prof. Philip Scheltens as an independent Board Director and a Board Observer for LSP, respectively. Amber has been a pioneering entrepreneur in leading companies and not-for-profit organizations focused on gene therapies and rare diseases for more than 20 years, while Prof. Sheltens is a world-renowned dementia scientist and thought leader.
“Traditionally, there have been very few options to combat the devastating course of neurodegenerative disorders,” said Matt McAviney, Partner, NEA and AviadoBio Board member. “AviadoBio’s gene therapy platform introduces a revolutionary approach, supported by world-renowned neuroscience expertise and strong preclinical data. The Company is poised to make a meaningful impact, and we are thrilled to partner with the team to introduce a new portfolio of treatments to patients suffering from a range of debilitating diseases.”