Annexon Biosciences, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel therapeutics through inhibition of the classical complement pathway, announced on 12/19/18 that it has closed a $75 million Series C financing. The financing was led by new investor Bain Capital Life Sciences, with participation by Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), and Adage Capital Partners. Existing investors, including NEA, Blackstone Life Sciences, Novartis Venture Fund and Satter Investment Management, also participated in the round.
“The classical complement pathway plays a central role in immunity. Malfunction or disruption of this pathway is at the core of many diseases and represents an attractive target for therapeutic intervention,” said Doug Love, Esq., Chief Executive Officer and President of Annexon. “We have made great strides in building a portfolio of product candidates across multiple indications over the past two years. Proceeds from this financing will fund our lead programs in antibody-mediated autoimmune, ophthalmic and neurodegenerative indications through several clinical stages, including completion of proof-of-concept trials. Further, these funds will also support the rapid advancement of our next generation drug candidates in autoimmune and neurodegenerative settings.”
Annexon’s lead programs are ANX005, a monoclonal antibody drug candidate designed for treatment in autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases, and ANX007 IVT, an antigen binding fragment (Fab) drug candidate designed for use in ophthalmic settings, currently in Phase 1b proof-of-principle studies that are expected to read out in 2019.
ANX005 works by binding with high affinity to C1q and preventing complement activation. In one pre-clinical study ANX005 showed promise in CAD (cold agglutinin disease), an autoimmune hemolytic anemia. The following passage from a summary of pre-clinical studies indicates that the drug may also be useful in treating a broad range of diseases, “Inhibition of C1q can be applied therapeutically in a broad spectrum of diseases, including acute antibody-mediated autoimmune disease, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), and in chronic diseases of the central nervous system involving complement-mediated neurodegeneration, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD).”