Rare Daily Staff
Catabasis Pharmaceuticals, which has worked to remake itself after a late-stage failure of its lead therapeutic candidate to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, said it is changing its name to Astria Therapeutics.
The company said Astria originates from the Greek word for star, reflecting its “commitment to having patients serve as guiding stars.” Astria expects to begin trading under the new ticker symbol “ATXS” on the Nasdaq Global Select Market at market open on September 9, and the new website, www.astriatx.com, launched today.
In January, Catabasis acquired Quellis Biosciences, a privately held emerging biotech focused on discovering best-in-class new molecules to treat serious rare diseases.
“Following the acquisition of Quellis earlier this year, our company is focused on tackling the debilitating disease hereditary angioedema, with the broader goal of addressing the unmet needs of patients with rare and niche allergic and immunological diseases,” said Jill Milne, CEO of Astria Therapeutics.
Astria’s lead program, STAR-0215 (formerly QLS-215), was named to reflect the goal of having patients at the forefront of Astria’s scientific development. STAR-0215 is currently in preclinical development for the treatment of HAE, a rare genetic disorder characterized by severe, recurrent, unpredictable, painful, and sometimes life-threatening swelling in the face, limbs, abdomen, and airway.
Astria is developing STAR-0215 to be a long-acting monoclonal antibody inhibitor of plasma kallikrein, dosed once every 3 months or longer, with the goal of providing the most patient-friendly preventative treatment option for people living with HAE. The company expects to file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for STAR-0215 in mid-2022 and plans to initiate a phase 1 clinical trial with initial proof of concept results anticipated by year end 2022.
In conjunction with the acquisition of Quellis Biosciences the company raised approximately $110 million in a private placement to a group of institutional accredited investors led by Perceptive Advisors, with participation from Fairmount Funds Management, RA Capital Management, Cormorant Asset Management, Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, Logos Capital, Boxer Capital, Acorn Bioventures, Commodore Capital, Surveyor Capital, Acuta Capital Partners, Sphera Healthcare, and Serrado Capital.
As of June 30, 2021, Astria had $139.5 million in cash and cash equivalents. Astria expects that it has sufficient cash to fund its current operating plan through 2023.
Photo: Jill Milne, CEO of Astria Therapeutics.