ESCAPE Bio Closes $73 Million in Crossover Financing to Advance Clinical Development of Precision Neurology Medicines for Genetic Neurodegeneration
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, September 14, 2020 — ESCAPE Bio, a clinical stage company developing novel, precisely targeted therapeutics for genetic neurodegenerative diseases, today announced the closing of a $73M financing 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 who join 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 new outstanding investors as we advance our pipeline of precision neurology medicines,” commented Julie Anne Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of ESCAPE. “The proceeds allow us to accelerate two programs into patients who lack disease modifying treatments.”
About ESCAPE Bio
ESCAPE Bio is a clinical stage, privately held biopharmaceutical company developing novel, precisely targeted therapeutics for genetically defined neurodegenerative diseases. ESB1609 is in a Phase 1 multiple ascending dose study in healthy volunteers. ESCAPE has advanced a mutant-selective LRRK2 G2019S kinase inhibitor for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) patients to IND-enabling studies. A pharmacologic structure corrector of Alzheimer’s patients carrying the ApoE4 risk allele is in Discovery. For additional information, please visit www.escapebio.com.
ESB1609 is a novel, orally administered, brain-penetrant and selective sphingosine-1-phosphate 5 (S1P5) receptor agonist. S1P5 receptors are predominantly expressed in the central nervous system (CNS) and natural killer (NK) cells as one of five receptors within the G-protein-coupled S1P receptor family (S1P1 – S1P5). Activation of S1P5 plays a significant counteractive role in many aspects of neurodegenerative disease relevant biology inclusive of upregulating several CNS lipid transporters. S1P5 agonism has normalized brain ceramide and sphingosine phosphate levels and promoted clearance of aggregation-prone proteins across multiple pre-clinical models of neurodegeneration. ESB1609 is currently in a Phase 1 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetic and biomarker study of escalating multiple doses in healthy volunteers.
ESB5070 is a novel, orally-administered, brain-penetrant and selective Leucine-Rich Repeat Kinase 2 (LRRK2) G2019S kinase inhibitor that spares wild type LRRK2 functionality. G2019S is the most common pathogenic mutation linked to PD occurring in 1–3% of PD patients. G2019S drives elevated kinase activity that perturbs the delicate orchestration of downstream signaling required for the healthy functioning of multiple cellular processes. ESB5070 is being developed specifically for the treatment of subjects carrying the LRRK2 G2019S variant and is currently in IND-enabling toxicology studies.