AsclepiX Therapeutics announced that it has closed a $35 Million Series A financing led by Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund with participation from the Perceptive Life Sciences Fund, both funds managed by Perceptive Advisors, and existing investors Rapha Capital Management and Barer & Son Capital. AsclepiX focuses on leveraging computational biology to find peptide regulators of vascular homeostasis for retinal and other diseases.
The proceeds from the financing will fund Phase 1/2a clinical trials of AXT107, the Company’s lead investigational drug, for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME), wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and macular edema secondary to retinal vein occlusion (RVO). Clinical trials are anticipated to begin in the second half of 2020.
AXT107 has a dual mechanism of action targeting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and Tie2 and has preclinically shown long durability and unique drug delivery properties that may offer an improved treatment option for patients.
Currently, available VEGF inhibitors require repeated intravitreal injections every one to three months, resulting in a significant treatment burden and ultimately receive fewer than the recommended number of injections resulting in sub-optimal visual outcomes. In addition, a proportion of eyes fail to attain optimal visual outcomes, even when receiving anti-VEGF therapy at recommended intervals. The potential benefit for AXT107, if approved, is to provide patients with best-in-class efficacy coupled with convenient once-a-year dosing, which could transform the treatment of retinal diseases.
“We see AsclepiX as having a highly promising novel technology and a lead candidate that holds the potential to be best-in-class in treating retinal diseases. Our interest in investing was based on the robust and compelling data in animal models and their readiness to move into clinical development in the near term,” said Chris Garabedian, Manager, PVX Fund for Perceptive Advisors and CEO of Xontogeny.