RTW Venture invests in Athira Pharma – RTW Venture Fund has confirmed that it participated in an $85 million Series B financing for Athira Pharma. The extent of RTW’s contribution to this financing has not been disclosed.
Athira is a privately-held clinical-stage company developing innovative first-in-class regenerative therapies with the potential to restore brain function. It is targeting diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The aim is to stimulate the restoration of or the building of new connections in the brain. In December 2019, Athira presented data from a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind Phase 1a/b clinical trial of NDX-1017 in 88 healthy subjects and patients with Alzheimer’s disease. “We are encouraged that we were able to show a robust and statistically significant improvement in an objective measure of a cognitive process in Alzheimer’s patients,” said Hans J. Moebius, MD, PhD, chief medical officer, Athira Pharma.
NDX-1017 is a small molecule therapeutic specifically designed to enhance the activity of Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF) and its receptor, MET, which are expressed in normal central nervous system function, in order to impact neurodegeneration and regenerate brain tissue.
Roderick Wong, MD, managing partner of the investment manager said: “We look forward to supporting Athira’s effort to develop novel treatments for neurodegenerative diseases and to advance NDX-1017 through clinical studies, as it prepares to enter Phase 2/3 trials in Alzheimer’s Disease, a large high unmet need patient population. For RTW Venture Fund, Athira’s addition is our fifth new investment since IPO and we are excited to diversify our portfolio across disease areas and continue to execute on our strategy of identifying innovative companies with potential to transform patients’ lives.”