Aspen Neuroscience, a San Diego, CA-based biotechnology company developing the first autologous neuron replacement therapy to treat Parkinson disease, closed a $70m Series A funding round.
The round was led by OrbiMed with participation from ARCH Venture Partners, Frazier Healthcare Partners, Domain Associates, Section 32, and Sam Altman.
Led by Dr. Howard Federoff, Chief Executive Officer, Aspen Neuroscience is a development stage, private biotechnology company that uses innovative genomic approaches combined with stem cell biology to deliver patient-specific, restorative cell therapies that modify the course of Parkinson disease. Aspen’s therapies are based upon the scientific work of stem cell scientist, Dr. Jeanne Loring, who has developed a novel method for autologous neuron replacement.
The company’s lead product, ANPD001, is currently undergoing investigational new drug (IND)-enabling studies for the treatment of sporadic forms of Parkinson disease.
The second product, ANPD002, combines gene correction and autologous neuron therapy for the treatment of genetic forms of Parkinson disease.
The funding will support the completion of all remaining IND-enabling studies and FDA submission of the IND relating to Aspen’s lead product (ANPD001), as well as the recruitment and screening of a trial-ready cohort of persons with Parkinson disease and the manufacture of their cells for the lead product. Additionally, the capital will allow the company to obtain meaningful data from the Phase 1 clinical study to show evidence of biological effect of the therapy and lay the foundation for the Phase 2 multi-center randomized controlled study.
The financing will also support the continued R&D pipeline which includes autologous gene-corrected dopamine neurons for heritable forms of Parkinson disease risk (ANPD002) and programs that extend beyond dopamine neurons and explore the treatment of diseases marked by neuroinflammation.
In addition to the funding, Aspen added several executives to the Board of Directors including the new Chairman, Faheem Hasnain, who is Founder and Chairman of Gossamer Bio.
Other additions include:
Tom Daniel, Chairman of Locana and Venture Partner at ARCH Ventures, and
Peter Thompson, Co-founder and Chairman of Silverback Therapeutics and Partner at OrbiMed.
These members join existing Directors which include Federoff, David Barker, former CSO of Illumina, and Stephen Squinto, Co-founder of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Co-founder and former CEO of Passage Bio and Executive Partner at OrbiMed.