- AstronauTx is a biotech company developing new treatments for neurodegenerative conditions based on amplifying the brain’s own physiological protective mechanisms
- Proceeds of the financing will be used to advance a portfolio of programmes and take the lead molecule into clinical trials
- The syndicate, led by the Novartis Venture Fund, also includes MPM Capital, Brandon Capital, EQT Life Sciences, Bristol Myers Squibb and current insider the Dementia Discovery Fund
London UK, 9 October 2023 – AstronauTx Ltd. (“AstronauTx”), a biotech company developing novel treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, today announced the completion of a £48 million ($61 million) Series A financing.
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.
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.
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.
“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,” said Dr. Ruth McKernan, co-founder of AstronauTx.
Dr. 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 & improve patients’ quality of life.”
Dr. 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.’.
– Ends –
For more information, please contact:
Optimum Strategic Communications:
Mary Clark, Nick Bastin, Stephen Adams, Katie Flint
Ruth McKernan Founder and Non-Executive Director
About AstronauTx Ltd
AstronauTx is a UK based Biotechnology company developing drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. It was founded in 2019 by the Dementia Discovery Fund.
For more information, please go to www.AstronauTx.Bio.
About the Novartis Venture Fund
Novartis Venture Fund is a financially driven corporate life science venture fund whose purpose is to foster innovation, drive significant patient benefit and generate superior returns by creating and investing in innovative life science companies at various stages of their development.
For more information, go to www.nvfund.com.
About the Dementia Discovery Fund
The Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF), managed by SV Health Investors, is the world’s largest family of specialized venture capital funds that invests exclusively in companies developing or enabling novel therapeutics for dementia. Dementias, including Alzheimer’s Disease, are arguably the largest unmet medical need, with over 55m patients worldwide. With more than $500m raised for this strategy, and offices in London and Boston, DDF capitalizes on global investment opportunities to fulfill its dual mandate of delivering measurable impact and generating significant financial returns. Utilizing its network of venture partners, entrepreneurs, leading scientists, and strategic partners, DDF invests in and creates new biotech companies and provides thought leadership in the field. DDF is enabled by its limited partners including major pharmaceutical companies (Biogen, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly and Co., GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Otsuka (Astex), Pfizer and Takeda), along with AARP, Aegon, Bill Gates, British Patient Capital, NFL Players Association, Quest Diagnostics, UnitedHealth Group, and the non-profits Alzheimer’s Research UK and LifeArc.
Learn more at www.ddf.vc.