SwanBio Therapeutics, a gene therapy company, has raised $56m through Series B financing round to advance gene therapies for neurological conditions.
This round was led by founding investors Syncona and Mass General Brigham Ventures.
With this new funding round, SwanBio has so far raised $133m.
SwanBio chair and chief investment officer Chris Hollowood said: “Since our initial investment, SwanBio has made excellent progress, including rapidly advancing its lead program for AMN toward the clinic. In parallel, the company has built the platform capabilities that will allow it to advance its broader pipeline of AAV gene therapies for spinal cord-related disorders toward clinical development.
“We are excited by the potential we see in this business to become a leading gene therapy company, delivering life-changing treatments to patients with debilitating neurological disorders.”
SwanBio’s latest funding round will support its ongoing growth into a completely integrated research and development entity, with an initial focus on the clinical advancement of SBT101, including plans to dose patients in a Phase 1/2 trial by the end of 2022.
An investigational drug, SBT101 is the first clinical-stage AAV-based gene therapy candidate intended to treat adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN).
It has been designed to compensate for the disease-causing ABCD1 mutation in people suffering with AMN.
Due to this mutation, the function of spinal cord cells and other tissues gets disrupted, thereby leading to nerve degeneration, and causing loss of mobility in adulthood, incontinence, debilitating pain, and sexual dysfunction.
Often patients experience adrenal gland dysfunction too.
Early this year, the FDA approved SwanBio’s Investigational New Drug application for SBT101 and granted Orphan Drug and Fast Track designations to the therapy candidate.
SwanBio CEO and director Tom Anderson said: “We are determined in our pursuit of AAV-based therapies targeting the root cause of disease, and are building our pipeline to develop treatments where there is a significant unmet need.
“The strategic decisions we make as a company are motivated by our drive to help those affected by neurological diseases as soon as possible because they can’t wait – and we don’t want them to.”
SwanBio is also developing a pipeline of gene therapy candidates to be delivered intrathecally to targets in both the central and peripheral nervous systems, with an initial focus on spinal cord-related disorders such as AMN.
Proceeds from the funding round will be used to further advance the pipeline and apply learnings from SBT101 to other monogenic disorders and polygenic disorders.