Attralus Gets $116M Financing Boost to Develop Imaging Agent
Attralus has raised $116 million to support the clinical development of AT-01, its diagnostic imaging agent for systemic amyloidosis, a group of rare conditions that includes familial amyloid polyneuropathy (FAP).
Proceeds from the Series B financing will also be used to develop therapeutic agents for different forms of systemic amyloidosis, according to the company.
Systemic amyloidosis is an umbrella term for a group of rare disorders characterized by the buildup of abnormal protein deposits, called amyloid, across different organs in the body, impairing their function. Among several types of amyloidosis, the most common are immunoglobulin light-chain (AL) and transthyretin (ATTR) amyloidosis.
FAP is a form of hereditary ATTR amyloidosis that causes damage mainly to peripheral nerves — those found outside the brain and spinal cord — in addition to the heart and other tissues. It is caused by a mutation in the TTR gene, which provides cells with instructions for making a protein called transthyretin (TTR). These mutations lead to the production of a faulty version of TTR that tends to clump together, forming aggregates.
AT-01 is part of Attralus’ pan-amyloid diagnostic agents. Specifically, AT-01 serves as an imaging agent that can be used to visualize amyloid deposits in organs. Currently, no diagnostic imaging agents for systemic amyloidosis are approved in the U.S.
Previous data from an ongoing Phase 1/2 trial (NCT03678259) showed that AT-01 was able to detect amyloid deposits in the heart, even in patients without heart symptoms and with normal levels of a heart damage biomarker. The imaging agent was also able to distinguish patients with AL amyloidosis from those with ATTR amyloidosis.
Additionally, the company is developing a set of pan-amyloid removal (PAR) agents, which target and bind with high specificity to different types of amyloid deposits. Once bound, they stimulate the clearance of the protein clumps by the immune system. These PAR therapeutic agents include AT-02, AT-03, and AT-04.
“This financing from a world-class syndicate of investors with deep expertise and experience in the life science space reflects the recognition of the strong potential of our pipeline of innovative pan-amyloid removal (PAR) therapeutics to bring a new treatment approach to patients with systemic amyloidosis,” Mark Timney, CEO of Attralus, said in a press release.
“With this support, we will accelerate our strategy to advance our PAR therapeutic programs into clinical trials along with the world’s first amyloidosis-specific diagnostic imaging agent,” Timney added.
The financing round was led by Logos Capital, with the support of multiple investors, including Janus Henderson Investors, Redmile Group, Samsara BioCapital, Sarissa Capital Management, and Vivo Capital. It was also supported by venBio Partners, Attralus’ founding investor.
“Attralus offers unique value by developing amyloidosis therapies capable of broadly removing existing amyloid deposits, going beyond current treatments that slow progression but do not remove amyloid from organs,” said Graham Walmsley, MD, PhD, and Arsani William, MD, at Logos Capital.