Apollo Ventures
Oct 7 · 3 min read

Aeovian Pharmaceuticals Raises $37 Million Series A Financing

Hamburg / San Francisco, October 2019 — Aeovian Pharmaceuticals, our portfolio company developing innovative therapies for the treatment of rare and aging-related diseases, announces the close of a $37 million Series A financing co-led by venBio and Sofinnova Investments and supported by us and our longtime partner Evotec. The proceeds from this financing will be used to advance its lead selective mTORC1 inhibitor, AE116, through IND-enabling studies and into clinical development for an undisclosed rare disease.

The mTOR (mechanistic Target of Rapamycin) pathway, regulated through two complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2, is a central regulator of aging, and its inhibition has been the most effective intervention to extend lifespan in mammalian systems. The name giving mTOR inhibitor Rapamycin has consistently shown the ability to increase lifespan of mice by up to 25% and has worked in all other mammals in a similar way. However, chronic exposure to Rapamycin and other current mTOR inhibitors leads to off-target inhibition of mTORC2, resulting in deleterious effects on metabolic health and immune function. Aeovian is therefore developing highly selective therapeutics modulating the mTORC1 pathway.

“The strong financial support and expertise from our investors will enable Aeovian to realize the full potential of our mTORC1 modulation approach,”

said Stelios T. Tzannis, CEO of Aeovian.

“I am grateful to have the added experience of Richard, Mike, Yvonne and Sarah to guide the development of our promising mTORC1 inhibitor for our first rare disease indication.”

venBio and Sofinnova have vast experience in building and developing early-stage therapeutics companies and are a perfect addition to our aging expertise. The track record of Sofinnova with 81 investments, 44 IPOs and 17 M&As speaks for itself. Richard Gaster, Principal at venBio, and Mike Powell, Managing General Partner at Sofinnova Investments, will join Jens Eckstein, our Managing Partner here at Apollo Health Ventures on Aeovian’s Board of Directors. Yvonne Yamanaka, Vice President at venBio, and Sarah Bhagat, Principal at Sofinnova, will join as Board Observers.

Aeovian’s proprietary platform is supported by an extensive intellectual property portfolio, part of which has been obtained by assignment from the Buck Institute of Novato, California, the nation’s first independent research facility focused solely on understanding the connection between aging and chronic disease.

“We are truly delighted to welcome these experienced life science venture firms to Aeovian. And as Apollo.vc we can all be very proud to be part of this exciting journey proving that Apollo is actually executing on its investment thesis of increasing healthy lifespan: investing into a company that improved the drug Rapamycin — the best performing longevity enhancer in mice — and is now moving towards human clinical trials with a development candidate that potentially reduces the side effects of Rapamycin significantly.”

says Jens Eckstein.

“It strengthens our mission at Apollo to discover and develop novel medicines to delay onset of age-related diseases.”

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