AviadoBio’s unique platform combines next-generation gene therapy design with deep neuroscience expertise and a novel neuroanatomy-led approach to drug delivery
Co-founded by leading neurologist and neuroscientist Professor Christopher Shaw, molecular neurobiologist Dr Youn Bok Lee and vector biologist Dr Do Young Lee from King’s College London and the UK Dementia Research Institute
Lisa Deschamps appointed Chief Executive Officer, bringing 25 years of industry and extensive gene therapy experience
Amsterdam, NL, December 8, 2021 — LSP, one of the leading life sciences and health care investors, today announced its investment in AviadoBio Ltd, a pioneering gene therapy company focused on developing and delivering transformative medicines for people living with neurodegenerative disorders. LSP, investing from the LSP Dementia Fund, participated in an $80 million (€70.6 million) Series A financing round alongside New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Monograph Capital, with participation from existing investors Advent Life Sciences, Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF), F-Prime Capital, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC), and LifeArc. The funds will be used to advance AviadoBio’s lead program in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) into the clinic, progress its preclinical assets, including for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), whilst continuing to expand its industry-leading team.
AviadoBio’s technology was developed in the laboratory of Christopher Shaw, Professor of Neurology and Neurogenetics at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, with the support of the UK Dementia Research Institute, the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and the Van Geest Foundation and, incubated by F-Prime Capital and JJDC.
“Whilst neurodegenerative conditions are focal at onset, the pathology eventually spreads throughout the nervous system. We have seen that modifying gene expression can be curative, but achieving widespread distribution is the greatest challenge. We have shown that precision micro dosing to neural networks will deliver broad CNS expression, providing safe and effective treatments,” said Prof. Christopher Shaw, Co-founder and Chief Scientific and Clinical Advisor of AviadoBio. “We are directly exploiting insights into the causes of diseases to design therapies that have the potential to cure patients for whom there are no effective treatments. I believe that AviadoBio has the potential to move neurodegeneration from palliation to prevention.”
Shaw added: “AviadoBio’s unique platform combines next-generation gene therapy design with deep neuroscience expertise and a novel neuroanatomy-led approach to drug delivery. Precision micro dosing achieves extensive gene expression throughout the nervous system, maximizing the therapeutic potential for patients living with devastating neurological diseases.”
The Company is led by recently appointed Chief Executive Officer and Board member Lisa Deschamps, former Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer at Novartis Gene Therapies. Lisa brings more than 25 years of biopharma experience including leading the global neuroscience business of Novartis and the worldwide commercialization of its gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy.
“I am excited about the promise we can bring to people living with neurodegenerative disease, where a significant unmet medical need remains with only symptomatic therapies currently available. Our differentiated approach has the potential to transform the treatment landscape and we have the opportunity with our group of experienced investors, our advisors and founders, to change the lives of people living with these debilitating conditions,” said Lisa Deschamps, Chief Executive Officer. “The expansion of our team and investor syndicate, positions AviadoBio to make this mission a reality while advancing the field.”
As part of the Series A financing, Matt McAviney, Partner at NEA and Tim Funnell, Partner at Monograph Capital have been appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors. Prof. Philip Scheltens, Managing Partner at the LSP Dementia Fund has been appointed as a Board Observer. Amber Salzman, a pioneering entrepreneur in the gene therapy and rare disease space for over twenty years, has been appointed as an independent Board Director.
Prof. Philip Scheltens commented: “the LSP Dementia Fund was launched to improve the care and treatment options available to patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. We believe that AviadoBio, with its strong foundational science, diversified pipeline, seasoned management team, and unique neuroanatomy-led drug delivery knowhow, is well positioned to deliver new drugs against these devastating diseases for which there are currently limited to no treatment options. We look forward to supporting the company along this exciting journey.”
At AviadoBio our mission is to transform the lives of people living with neurodegenerative disorders by developing and delivering transformative gene therapies for diseases including frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The Company’s technology is based on pioneering research from King’s College London and the UK Dementia Research Institute, co-founded by Prof. Christopher Shaw, Dr. Youn Bok Lee and Dr. Do Young Lee, with support from leading life science investors and Dr. Jonathan Jones and Dr. Graeme Fielder, as the Company’s founding management team. AviadoBio is building world-class capabilities to discover, develop, manufacture and commercialize gene therapy products. For more information, please visit aviadobio.com and follow us at Twitter @AviadoBio and LinkedIn AviadoBio.
LSP is a European investment firm providing financing for life sciences and health care companies. LSP’s management has raised over $3.5 billion (€3 billion) and supported the growth of 150 companies since it started to invest in 1988, including signature deals such as argenx, Crucell and Neuravi. With offices in Amsterdam, Munich and Boston, LSP currently has the possibility to invest through five strategies, each having a distinctive investment scope and a dedicated team: LSP 7 invests in private early- to late-stage drug development and medical technology companies; LSP HEF 2 focuses on private late-stage medical technology companies; the LSP Dementia Fund invests in companies targeting neurodegenerative diseases; LSP Public targets public healthcare companies; and EBAC is LSP’s SPAC exclusively focussing on European biotech. LSP is an active contributor to the global life sciences industry and the European life science eco-system by assuming roles as initiators, founders and board members in various private and public bodies and organizations, for example being founder and board member of the Oncode Institute. For more information: lspvc.com
For more information please contact:
Prof. Dr. Philip Scheltens, Managing Partner at LSP Dementia Fund
+ 31 20 664 5500
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