SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – ESCAPE Bio, a clinical-stage company developing new, precisely targeted therapies for neurodegenerative genetic diseases, today announced the closing of a $ 73 million funding led by Wellington Management Company LLP. Additional new investors include Avidity Partners, CAM Capital, New Leaf Ventures, Rock Springs Capital, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company) and Sphera Funds Management, joining existing investors OrbiMed, Novo Holdings, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Novartis Venture Fund, Osage University Partners and Sutter Hill Ventures.
“We are delighted to partner with these exceptional new investors as we advance our portfolio of precision neurology drugs,” commented Julie Anne Smith, President and CEO of ESCAPE. “The proceeds allow us to expedite two programs for patients lacking disease-modifying therapies. ”
About ESCAPE Bio
ESCAPE Bio is a private, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, precisely targeted therapies for genetically defined neurodegenerative diseases. ESB1609 is in a Phase 1 multiple-dose escalation study in healthy volunteers. ESCAPE has advanced a mutant-selective LRRK2 G2019S kinase inhibitor for patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) to studies enabling IND. A corrector of the pharmacological structure of patients with Alzheimer’s disease carrying the risk allele ApoE4 is in the process of being discovered. For more information, please visit www.escapebio.com.
ESB1609 is a novel, orally administered, brain-penetrating, selective sphingosine-1-phosphate 5 (S1P5) receptor agonist. S1P5 receptors are primarily expressed in the central nervous system (CNS) and natural killer (NK) cells as one of the five receptors in the S1P receptor family coupled to G proteins (S1P1 – S1P5). Activation of S1P5 plays a significant counteractive role in many aspects of the relevant biology of neurodegenerative diseases, including the upregulation of several CNS lipid transporters. S1P5 agonism normalized brain levels of ceramide and sphingosine phosphate and promoted clearance of aggregation-prone proteins in several preclinical models of neurodegeneration. ESB1609 is currently in a phase 1, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and multiple-dose escalating biomarker study in healthy volunteers.
ESB5070 is a novel, orally administered, brain-penetrating G2019S kinase inhibitor Leucine-Rich Repeat Kinase 2 (LRRK2) which spares wild-type LRRK2 functionality. G2019S is the most common pathogenic mutation linked to PD occurring in 1 to 3% of patients with PD. G2019S results in high kinase activity that disrupts the delicate orchestration of downstream signaling required for the proper functioning of several cellular processes. ESB5070 is developed specifically for the treatment of subjects carrying the LRRK2 G2019S variant and is currently the subject of toxicological studies allowing IND.