Rare Daily Staff
Attralus has launched with $25 million in a series A financing to diagnose and potentially reverse the underlying pathology of systemic amyloid diseases.
The financing, led by VenBio Partners, will allow Attralus to further validate its pan-amyloid imaging agent, AT-01, and advance two therapeutic candidates, AT-02 and AT-03, into clinical development for ATTR (transthyretin), AL (light chain), and potentially ALECT2 systemic amyloidosis. Attralus expects to file IND applications for the two therapeutics programs by early 2022.
Systemic amyloidosis is a rare condition that encompasses a diverse group of approximately 30 different disorders that occur due to protein misfolding, which produces amyloid fibrils that accumulate in multiple organs throughout the body. Deposited amyloid is toxic to organs and tissues and causes significant dysfunction. All forms of systemic amyloidosis, including AL, ATTR and ALECT2, can affect multiple major organs and tissues, including the heart, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract and nerves. Patients with amyloidosis experience a broad range of severely debilitating symptoms such as heart failure, kidney failure and neuropathy, and most patients have less than five years of life expectancy from onset of symptoms. Diagnosis of amyloidosis can be difficult, as multiple diagnostic tests and physician visits are often required to confirm the disease. Misdiagnosis can be deadly and delayed diagnosis leads to poor outcomes.
“With our novel, pan-amyloid targeting agents, we are able to visualize the pathology and progression of systemic amyloidosis by whole-body diagnostic imaging,” said Spencer Guthrie, CEO of Attralus. “We are now leveraging our pan-amyloid binders to develop highly targeted therapeutics to remove toxic deposits of amyloid fibrils from affected tissues. Our approach of removing amyloid in the body has the potential to benefit a wide range of patients living with the disease, including late-stage patients for whom current therapies have not shown significant impact.”
In contrast to current treatments, which reduce the formation of new amyloid fibrils and slow disease progression but do not address already deposited amyloid, Attralus is developing novel pan-amyloid targeting agents to directly bind and remove toxic amyloid fibrils from organs and tissues throughout the body, with the potential to reverse disease pathology. Unlike current monoclonal antibodies in development for systemic amyloidosis, Attralus’s therapeutics target motifs that are universally and ubiquitously presented on all amyloid fibrils. This pan-amyloid binding profile allows Attralus’s therapeutics to target multiple types of amyloid fibrils including AL, ATTR, ALECT2 and others. The company’s pan-amyloid targeting agent has demonstrated potent and specific binding to a wide variety of amyloid fibrils in an ongoing clinical trial assessing use of AT-01 for diagnostic imaging in systemic amyloidosis patients.
Attralus’s management team includes leading amyloidosis scientists and experts with more than 25 years experience in the field. Prior to joining Attralus as CEO, Guthrie was head of global strategy for ATTR amyloidosis at Akcea and Ionis. Co-Founder and interim Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Wall is a professor of medicine at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine and head of the Amyloidosis and Cancer Theranostics Program where he developed the pan-amyloid imaging agent AT-01.
Board members include Richard Gaster, partner at venBio, Corey Goodman, managing partner at venBio, Spencer Guthrie, and Nancy Miller-Rich.
Photo: Spencer Guthrie, CEO of Attralus