Annexon Bioscience Closes $34M Series A-1 Funding for Novel Approach to Neurodegenerative and Autoimmune Diseases
December 15, 2014 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--Annexon Bioscience today announced that it has closed a $34 million Series A-1 to support the development of its lead candidate, ANX005, for the treatment of neurodegenerative and autoimmune disorders. The round was led by Novartis Venture Funds with participating investors Satter Investment Management, LLC, and Clarus Ventures, LLC.
ANX005 is a humanized monoclonal antibody that inhibits early components of the classical complement cascade. "Annexon has what we believe to be a uniquely elegant approach to neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases," said Dr. Campbell Murray of Novartis Venture Funds. "The important role of the classical complement cascade in antibody-mediated autoimmune disorders has been known for some time, and the discovery that it contributes to loss of nerve connections in neurodegenerative disease is highly innovative."
"Patients and families worldwide are seeking answers for these debilitating disorders, and ANX005 has the potential to become an important therapeutic agent for these conditions," commented Doug Love, CEO of Annexon. "We look forward to executing on our clinical plan to rapidly validate our platform science in Huntington's disease." Huntington's disease is a well-defined genetic disorder characterized by nerve cell loss that results in severe motor, cognitive and psychiatric symptoms.
Annexon was co-founded in 2011 by Ben Barres, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair of Neurobiology at Stanford University School of Medicine, and Arnon Rosenthal, PhD, Co-founder and CEO of Alector, and Co-founder, former President and CSO of Rinat Neurosciences. Seed funding was provided by Fidelity Biosciences Research Initiative. The Company is led by CEO Doug Love, Esq., who previously served as Head of Operations and Alliances at Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and CSO Ted Yednock, PhD, who previously served as Head of Research for Elan Pharmaceuticals and is the scientific inventor of Tysabri®, a blockbuster multiple sclerosis therapy.
Annexon is pioneering the development of classical complement pathway inhibitors for the treatment of neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases. While the role of the pathway in autoimmunity has been known for some time, the Company's breakthrough research has unveiled that the pathway is activated as the aging brain encounters stress or disease to contribute to loss of nerve connections in neurodegeneration. Annexon strives to rapidly bring what may be disease-modifying therapies to patients suffering from these diseases.
Tysabri® is a registered trademark of Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.