Attralus Eyes Further Work on Therapeutic Candidates with New Funding
California-based biopharmaceutical company Attralus announced today that it has concluded a $25 million Series A financing round. With this funding, Attralus will be able to conduct further work on its pan-amyloid imaging agent, AT-01, and advance two therapeutic candidates, AT-02 and AT-03, into clinical development for ATTR (transthyretin), AL (light chain) and potentially ALECT2 systemic amyloidosis.
Systemic amyloidosis translates into about 30 different disorders that occur in the body as a result of protein misfolding. This produces amyloid fibrils that accumulate in various organs. Deposited amyloid is toxic to organs and tissues, and ultimately causes significant dysfunction. The different forms of amyloidosis – including AL, ATTR and ALECT2 – can impact the heart, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract and nerves.
"At Attralus, we are committed to pursuing new breakthroughs for patients living with systemic amyloidosis," said Spencer Guthrie, CEO of Attralus. "With our novel, pan-amyloid targeting agents, we are able to visualize the pathology and progression of systemic amyloidosis by whole-body diagnostic imaging. We are now leveraging our pan-amyloid binders to develop highly targeted therapeutics to remove toxic deposits of amyloid fibrils from affected tissues. Our approach of removing amyloid in the body has the potential to benefit a wide range of patients living with the disease, including late-stage patients for whom current therapies have not shown significant impact. We have the opportunity to utilize AT-01 to guide our development of AT-02 and AT-03 in a targeted fashion by detecting the exact site and amount of amyloid, carefully selecting patients and monitoring treatment response.”
Current treatments reduce the formation of new amyloid fibrils and slow disease progression. However, they do not address already-deposited amyloid in the body. Attralus is developing novel pan-amyloid targeting agents to bind and remove amyloid fibrils from organs and tissues before they have a toxic effect.
Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Caelum Biosciences also announced today that they have initiated their Cardiac Amyloid Reaching for Extended Survival (CARES) Phase III clinical program to evaluate CAEL-101, a first-in-class amyloid fibril targeted therapy in combination with standard-of-care (SoC) therapy in AL amyloidosis. The primary objective is to assess overall survival.
“In AL amyloidosis, misfolded amyloid proteins can build up in many organs throughout the body, including the heart and kidneys, causing significant damage to these organs and impairing their function,” said John Orloff, M.D., Executive Vice President and Head of Research and Development at Alexion. “While current treatments address the bone marrow disorder that creates the misfolded amyloid proteins, there are no approved therapies for the significant organ damage the disease causes. CAEL-101 has the potential to be the first treatment to target and remove the amyloid deposits from these organs. Data from Phase I studies suggest that this treatment approach may improve organ function and long-term survival. We look forward to investigating this further in the Phase III clinical program.”
CAEL-101 is a first-in-class monoclonal antibody that is designed to eliminate amyloid deposits in the tissue and organs of patients with AL amyloidosis. The antibody works by binding to misfolded light chain protein and amyloid, and shows binding to both kappa and lambda subtypes.
“We recognize the urgent need for new treatments that address the organ damage caused by AL amyloidosis and are working together with the AL amyloidosis community and Alexion to advance the Phase III clinical program as quickly as possible,” said Michael Spector, President and Chief Executive Officer of Caelum.