Augustine Theraupetics raises EUR 17 million in a Series A first closing
Home News Augustine Theraupetics raises EUR 17 million in a Series A first closing

Augustine Theraupetics raises EUR 17 million in a Series A first closing

JUNE 26, 2024 BHH Members Initiatives

Augustine Therapeutics, a pioneering biotech company focused on novel treatments for neurodegenerative and cardiometabolic diseases, today announced that it has raised EUR 17 million (USD 18.5 million) in the first closing of its Series A round. The financing was led by BHH member Asabys Partners, with participation from Eli Lilly and Company, and the US-based Charcot-Marie-Tooth Research Foundation. Current investors AdBio partners, V-Bio Ventures, PMV, VIB and Gemma Frisius Fund also joined the round.

Augustine Therapeutics is developing best-in-class, novel, potent and subtype-selective small molecule inhibitors of the cytosolic Histone DeACetylase 6 (HDAC6) enzyme, a class II histone deacetylase. HDAC6 is a well-known molecular target with strong biological rationale for neurological disorders and high therapeutic potential in cardiometabolic disease. Inhibition of HDAC6 plays a leading role in axonal protection and regeneration by controlling the efficiency of internal axonal transport. Augustine’s novel generation of HDAC6 inhibitors (HDAC6i) are chemically distinct and superior to the first generation hydroxamate-based inhibitors developed so far, allowing them to safely and selectively reverse and inhibit the pathophysiological changes associated with neuromuscular diseases such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT), peripheral neuropathies induced by chemotherapies (CIPN), as well as neurodegenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

The proceeds from this first close will be used to advance Augustine’s lead candidate, AGT100216, into a Phase 1/2 first-in-human clinical trial in 2025. AGT100216 is a peripherally restricted and selective small molecule HDAC6i with a unique mechanism-of-action that has strong potential in CMT and CIPN. The financing will further support the development of the company’s pipeline, including the advancement of its next-generation drug candidates with additional peripheral-restricted and brain penetrant properties for cardiometabolic and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as fund the expansion of the Augustine executive and R&D team.

"The support from both new and existing investors in this first closing is a reflection of the tremendous efforts and scientific excellence of our team in advancing a unique pipeline of potential breakthrough therapeutics for patients" said Sylvain Celanire, CEO of Augustine Therapeutics. "Our HDAC6 inhibitors have unique properties designed to achieve meaningful benefits for patients with neurodegenerative and cardiometabolic diseases. Our first clinical candidate, AGT100216, has demonstrated impressive preclinical efficacy in CMT studies highlighting its ability to halt disease progression, significantly reverse the disease phenotype and rescue axonal integrity in a dose-dependent manner. We are looking forward to capitalizing on our unique pipeline with the strategic insights we are gaining from our Board and Executive Chairman Gerhard Koenig."

Clara Campàs, Founding and Managing Partner at Asabys Partners, said: "Augustine’s molecules are unique, selective and potent, providing a competitive advantage in modulating a validated target with potential impact in a large variety of indications. Augustine’s novel generation of chemically distinct HDAC6 inhibitors are unprecedented and have the potential to overcome some of the typical limitations of other HDAC6 inhibitors currently being tested in early clinical development. We are thrilled to have joined a strong consortium of investors alongside Eli Lilly and Company, the current investors and Augustine’s exceptional team to further develop these molecules to clinical proof of concept."

In conjunction with the financing, Clara Campàs, Founding and Managing Partner at Asabys Partners, has joined Augustine Therapeutics’ Board of Directors. Isabel Jiménez, Associate at Asabys, and a representative from Eli Lilly and Company, will join as Board Observers.

In addition, Augustine Therapeutics announced today the appointment of Gerhard Koenig as Executive Chairman of its Board of Directors. Gerhard Koenig has been a Non-Executive Director on Augustine’s Board since May 2022, and currently serves as CEO and Founder of Arkuda Therapeutics, a Boston-based biotech company, focused on the development of lysosomal function enhancers in neurodegenerative diseases. Gerhard is also a Board Member of Vigil Therapeutics (NASDAQ: VIGL) focused on rectifying Microglial dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases.

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