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AstronauTx completes £48m series A financing for Alzheimer’s disease

The financing will support the biotech’s clinical study of people with AD as a lead programme.

AstronauTx has announced the completion of a £48m Series A financing to create new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

As part of the investment led by the Novartis Venture Fund, the financing was supported by several global venture investors, including Brandon Capital, Bristol Myers Squibb, EQT Life Sciences from the LSP Dementia Fund and MPM Capital with support from the Dementia Discovery Fund.

All proceeds from the Series A financing will be used to develop the London-based biotech company, AstronauTx, and advance its portfolio of small-molecule drugs, including a clinical study of AD patients as a lead programme.

Dr Marianne Uteng, managing director at the Novartis Venture Fund, said: “The founders and investors include world experts in neuroscience, and the founder’s discovery is thought to have potential in halting disease progression and improving patients’ quality of life.”

Jonathan Tobin, partner at Brandon Capital, said: “We are pleased to join the impressive syndicate of investors backing AstronauTx in its mission to create therapies that are expected to provide not only symptomatic but also disease-modifying benefits in Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases, and area of high unmet need but where recent breakthroughs are offering new hope.”

The company will work on oral drugs that could be “applicable across multiple neurodegenerative conditions,” said its co-founder, Dr Ruth McKernan.

First launched in 2019, AstonauTx was created by the Dementia Discovery Fund with an additional £6.5m in seed funding provided from the UCL Technology Fund and the UK Future Fund to develop novel drugs to correct the disrupted physiology of the brain by improving the support function of astrocytes, an important cell type in the brain.

In July 2023, AstronauTx announced its partnership with Danish biotechnology company Saniona to identify new treatments by modulating a novel, undisclosed ion channel target.

Most recently, AstronauTx was awarded an Innovate UK grant in September to fund preclinical work on one of its programmes.