StrideBio Raises $81.5M to Advance AAV-Based Gene Therapies into Clinic
March 16, 2021
Rare Daily Staff
StrideBio said it raised $81.5 million in a series B funding round to advance its pipeline of AAV-based gene therapies into the clinic.
Northpond Ventures and Novo Holdings led the financing with participation by new investors Pontifax, Octagon Capital, Sarepta Therapeutics, CaaS Capital and UF Innovate Ventures, along with existing investors Hatteras Venture Partners, UCB Ventures, Takeda Ventures, and Alexandria Venture Investments.
In conjunction with the financing, Shaan Gandhi, director at Northpond Ventures, and Karen Hong, partner at Novo Ventures, an affiliate of Novo Holdings, have joined the company’s Board of Directors.
“With this additional funding secured, we will be able to translate next generation gene therapies enabled by our lead engineered capsids into the clinic to benefit patients,” said Sapan Shah, CEO of StrideBio.
Two of the investors in the round, Sarepta and Takeda, have preclinical partnerships with StrideBio that have resulted in five programs in rare neurological and neuromuscular diseases that include Friedreich’s ataxia, Niemann Pick disease Type C, Angelman syndrome, Rett syndrome, and Dravet syndrome.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance the company’s pipeline to the clinic, including four new wholly owned programs targeting monogenic central nervous system (CNS) and cardiovascular disorders. These programs will leverage StrideBio’s proprietary AAV capsids with features including reduced seroprevalence, neuronal and cardiovascular tropism, liver de-targeting and enhanced gene transfer efficiency compared to first-generation AAV serotypes.
StrideBio will also continue to build on STRIVE, its structure-inspired adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector engineering platform that the company says creates unique and differentiated capsids that overcome current limitations of first-generation gene therapies. Key targeted improvements include reduced seroprevalence, improved tropism for specific cell types, liver de-targeting and increased gene transfer efficiency, with the potential for improved safety and reduced doses in the clinic with the goal to improve safety and reduce doses required for effective gene therapies.
Since its series A funding round in 2018, the company has made significant progress, including executing partnerships targeting rare diseases, generating a robust panel of AAV vectors characterized in multiple, preclinical animal models, as well as establishing and scaling an in-house manufacturing process to 1000L at its facility in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The current funding will also be used to support continued operational growth and manufacturing capacity expansion, building on the company’s current infrastructure that includes a 6,000 square foot GMP clean suite.
Photo: Sapan Shah, CEO of StrideBio
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