Another Biotech is Born as Bay Area's BridgeBio Pharma Launches Eidos Therapeutics With $27 Million

Another Biotech is Born as Bay Area's BridgeBio Pharma Launches Eidos Therapeutics With $27 Million April 27, 2017
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

Palo Alto, Calif,-based BridgeBio Pharma announced that it has launched a subsidiary company, Eidos Therapeutics, to develop a novel small-molecule treatment for transthyretin (TTR) amyloidosis.

BridgeBio was founded in 2015 and has a portfolio of eight drugs in various stages of development in various therapeutic areas including oncology, cardiology, dermatology and rare disease.

Eidos Therapeutics is launching with a $27 million commitment from BridgeBio. TTR amyloidosis is the result of accumulated toxic TTR amyloid deposits in the heart and peripheral nerves. It is caused by mutations in the gene that encodes TTR, although it can occur in patients who don’t have the mutations.

Approximately 250,000 people globally have cardiac and neurological symptoms because of the disease. It is more common in older people.

Eidos’ AG10 targets the disease by stabilizing TTR and preventing toxic amyloid fibrils from forming. It is expected to begin clinical trials in the second half of 2017.

“TTR amyloidosis is a progressive, fatal disease without an FDA-approved therapy,” said Jonathan Fox, Eidos’ president and chief medical officer, in a statement. “Patients and their families currently rely on supportive treatments that neither address the root cause of the condition nor alter its natural course. We believe that a safe, effective treatment that halts disease progression is achievable, and that AGF10 could fulfill that promise.”

AG10 was identified and developed by Isabelle Graef and Mamoun Alhamadshesh, co-founders of Eidos via research funded by Stanford Medicine’s SPARK program. The company is currently led by experienced pharmaceutical and biotechnology executives.

“Eidos is a prime example of the targeted innovation that BridgeBio aims to identify and support,” said Neil Kumar, interim chief executive officer of Eidos and chief executive officer of BridgeBio, in a statement. “BridgeBio is providing Eidos with the resources and capabilities to efficiently shepherd AG10 through clinical development, translating years of scientific advancement into a therapy that could save thousands of lives.”

BridgeBio came out of stealth mode in January 2017. It views itself as a “drug product engine as opposed to a novel science platform,” the company stated.

“We partner closely with academic and clinical leaders to help move insights they have already made into the clinic,” said co-founder Frank McCormick, in a January statement. McCormick is also a former co-founder of Onyx Pharmaceuticals . “We are not trying to discover new biology so much as to take what is already known and develop therapies from it.”

BridgeBio has a novel corporate structured that it designed in collaboration with MIT Sloan Professor Andrew Lo, who is a founding investor and member of the company. Instead of large platform companies, it develops lean and focused subsidiaries around individual assets or diseases.

Lo said in a statement, “We tried to put in place, at the outset, a corporate structure that optimized for focused R&D at the level of each asset but that still provided diversification for investors. This diversification in turn provides more predictable positive outcomes and makes these pre-commercial programs more attractive for a broader pool of capital. Ultimately, the structure also allows for liquidity in ways that are unique as compared with the traditional c-corp or fund structures seen in this industry.”

Since 2016, BridgeBio deployed over $50 million in R&D commitments.

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