Athira Pharma announced the closing of an $85 million Series B financing to advance its lead therapeutic candidate, NDX-1017, into late stage clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease. The financing round was led by Perceptive Advisors and included participation from new investors RTW Investments, Viking Global Investors, Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, Franklin Templeton, Rock Springs Capital, LifeSci Venture Partners, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Highside Capital Management, Logos Capital, funds managed by Janus Henderson Investors, Sofinnova Investments, Avidity Partners, and existing investors including Rick and Suzanne Kayne and Sahsen Ventures.
NDX-1017 is a small molecule therapeutic designed to enhance the activity of a naturally occurring repair mechanism that has the potential to restore neuronal health and brain function. The financing will be used to fund Phase 2/3 development of NDX-1017 for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. In December 2019, the company presented positive data from its Phase Ia/b trials of the drug in 88 healthy subjects and patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The trial evaluated quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) as a biomarker of brain circuitry activity and an event-related potential (ERP) as a way to test working memory and cognitive processes. The drug showed dose-dependent and consistent changes in brain activity in all patients treated.
“We are dedicated to impacting the course of neurodegenerative diseases and are eager to advance our lead therapeutic candidate, NDX-1017, into Phase 2/3 clinical development following the encouraging data we presented at CTAD, showing a rapid and statistically significant improvement in an objective measure of cognitive process in Alzheimer’s patients,” said Dr. Leen Kawas, President and Chief Executive Officer at Athira. “We appreciate the support from this prominent group of investors, which will also enable us to explore the potential of our pipeline of compounds across a range of central and peripheral neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric indications.”