Leverages proprietary pan-amyloid targeting agents with potential to diagnose and reverse the underlying pathology of systemic amyloid diseases, including AL and ATTR amyloidosis
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., September 14, 2020 – Attralus, a biopharmaceutical company focused on creating transformative medicines to improve the lives of patients with systemic amyloidosis, today announced the completion of its $25 million Series A financing. The Series A financing was led by venBio Partners and will allow Attralus to further validate their 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 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.
“At Attralus, we are committed to pursuing new breakthroughs for patients living with systemic amyloidosis,” said Spencer Guthrie, Chief Executive Officer of Attralus. “With our novel, pan-amyloid targeting agents, we are able to visualize the pathology and progression of systemic amyloidosis by whole-body diagnostic imaging. 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. We have the opportunity to utilize AT-01 to guide our development of AT-02 and AT-03 in a targeted fashion by detecting the exact site and amount of amyloid, carefully selecting patients and monitoring treatment response. Our experienced, passionate team comprises leading amyloidosis scientists and experts. We envision our therapies to be fully encompassing treatments that address all types of amyloidosis, including the majority that currently have no available treatment options. In addition, we are excited to partner with Dr. Wall’s research group, which has more than 25 years of translational experience in amyloidosis.”
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. Attralus’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.
“Based on years of focused research and direct work with patients, we are now able to fully visualize the extent of systemic amyloidosis, begin to fully understand the impact of the disease and to guide development of truly novel and targeted therapeutics for so many patients who have not had access to therapies,” said Jonathan Wall, Ph.D., Interim Chief Scientific Officer of Attralus, Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville and Head of the Amyloidosis and Cancer Theranostics Program. “We are excited to use the scientific knowledge gained to date to shed light on the disease and drive forward progress for all patients living with systemic amyloidosis.”
Attralus’s team of leading amyloidosis scientists and experts, including Spencer Guthrie and Dr. Jonathan Wall, have researched and advanced therapeutics in systemic amyloidosis for more than 25 years. The team understands first-hand the high unmet medical need among patients with the disease and is committed to the path toward potential new therapies driven by science. Richard Gaster, M.D., Ph.D., Partner at venBio, and Corey Goodman, Ph.D., Managing Partner at venBio, will join Spencer Guthrie and Nancy Miller-Rich on Attralus’s Board of Directors.
“We are excited to partner with the exceptional leaders at Attralus and develop transformative therapies for patients living with a range of systemic amyloid diseases,” said Dr. Gaster. “Through years of rigorous scientific research, Dr. Wall has successfully advanced his pan-amyloid imaging agent, AT-01, into the clinic and demonstrated excellent target engagement in patients with many forms of systemic amyloidosis. Attralus now has the opportunity to further validate AT-01, and advance two therapeutic agents, AT-02 and AT-03, into the clinic. These therapeutics leverage similar pan-amyloid binding properties to AT-01, however, they have improved pharmacokinetic properties and are armed to facilitate the removal of toxic amyloid fibrils. With this approach, we believe Attralus will have the opportunity to deliver life-changing therapies to patients who suffer from systemic amyloidosis without approved treatment options.”
“For too long, many patients living with systemic amyloidosis have struggled both to gain a timely diagnosis and treatment for their disease,” said Isabelle Lousada, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Amyloidosis Research Consortium. “An imaging diagnostic has the potential to help patients get diagnosed earlier and give a full picture of the extent of their disease. The scientific research is promising, and with the commitment from Attralus we are eager to see the results of further development of both an imaging diagnostic and potentially even new treatment options for amyloidosis patients globally.”
Attralus is a biopharmaceutical company focused on illuminating the systemic nature of amyloidosis and creating transformative medicines to improve the lives of patients. The company’s proprietary peptide-based pan-amyloid targeting agents have the potential to diagnose and treat all forms and stages of systemic amyloidosis. Attralus is focused on targeting common pathology in all systemic amyloidosis diseases, with the goal of developing treatments for all subtypes of amyloidosis, including the majority in which there are currently no treatment options. Attralus is headquartered in South San Francisco and was founded in 2019 with funding from venBio Partners. For more information, visit Attralus online
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About venBio Partners
venBio Partners is a life sciences investment firm that partners with industry leaders to build innovative medicines and technologies, with a focus on novel therapeutics for unmet medical needs. For more information, please visit venbio.com
Verge Scientific Communications