RARE Daily

Taysha Gene Therapies Raises $95 Million to Tackle Monogenic CNS Diseases

August 5, 2020

Three months after launching with $30 million in financings, Taysha Gene Therapies added $95 million to its coffers in an oversubscribed series B financing round.

Fidelity Management & Research led the financing with participation by new investors BlackRock, GV, Invus, Casdin Capital, Franklin Templeton, Octagon Capital, Perceptive Advisors, Sands Capital, ArrowMark Partners and Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners. Founding investors PBM Capital and Nolan Capital also participated.

Taysha’s is working to address monogenic diseases of the central nervous system. Taysha says it will use proceeds from the financing to advance an initial cohort of lead programs into the clinic, accelerate progress on anticipated IND submissions, build a commercially scalable GMP manufacturing facility and continue development of the company’s extensive portfolio of potentially curative gene therapies in partnership with the UT Southwestern Gene Therapy Program.

“This significant investment from premier, long-term investors will allow us to advance our mission of eradicating monogenic CNS disease for the thousands of patients who suffer from these devastating disorders,” said R.A. Session II, president, CEO and founder of Taysha.

Taysha is currently developing a pipeline of 17 gene therapy product candidates, with exclusive options to acquire four additional programs across three distinct franchises, including neurodegenerative diseases, neurodevelopmental disorders and genetic forms of epilepsy. Taysha expects to file INDs for four programs by the end of 2021: TSHA-101 for the treatment of GM2 Gangliosidosis; TSHA-102 for the treatment of Rett syndrome; TSHA-103 for the treatment of SLC6A1 haploinsufficiency disorder; and TSHA-104 for the treatment of SURF1 deficiency.

The company expects to initiate a clinical study before the end of the year for its first gene-therapy candidate for GM2 Gangliosidosis, a rare inherited disorder that progressively destroys nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

Dallas, Texas-based Taysha reunites former investors and executives from gene therapy pioneer AveXis, which also got its start in Texas.

“We have brought together experts in gene therapy with leading healthcare and institutional investors to create a company that is uniquely positioned to advance the development of potentially curative gene therapies for CNS disease in rare and large patient populations,” said Sean Nolan, chairman of the board of Taysha, and former CEO of AveXis. “We believe this financing provides significant validation of our corporate strategy and will enable us to continue to rapidly translate programs from preclinical development into the clinic.”

Photo: Sean Nolan, chairman of the board of Taysha

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