With $95M in New Funding, Taysha Gene Therapies Looks to Advance Pipeline

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Texas-based Taysha Gene Therapies announced last week that it had concluded a Series B round of financing worth $95 million. The round was led by Fidelity Management & Research Company, with additional investment from BlackRock, GV, Invus, Casdin Capital, Franklin Templeton, Octagon Capital, Perceptive Advisors LLC, Sands Capital, ArrowMark Partners and Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners.

Taysha is currently working on developing a pipeline of 17 gene therapy product candidates. TSHA-101 is expected to enter clinical studies later this year for the treatment of GM2 Gangliosidosis. TSHA-102 will follow, with a focus on the treatment of Rett syndrome.

TSHA-103 is also being developed for the treatment of SLC6A1 haploinsufficiency disorder, while TSHA-104 is being examined for the treatment of SURF1 deficiency. Taysha will file Investigational New Drug applications for each of these four product candidates by the end of next year.

“We have brought together experts in gene therapy with leading healthcare and institutional investors to create a company that is uniquely positioned to advance the development of potentially curative gene therapies for CNS disease in rare and large patient populations,” said Sean Nolan, Chairman of the Board of Taysha. “We believe this financing provides significant validation of our corporate strategy and will enable us to continue to rapidly translate programs from preclinical development into the clinic.”

Taysha Gene Therapies launched with $30 million in seed financing back in April of this year. The goal of the company is to eradicate severe and life-threatening monogenic diseases of the central nervous system through the use of adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy programs.

“Gene therapies have proven to deliver transformational benefit to patients who suffer from devastating diseases with significant, unmet medical need,” said RA Session II. “Our mission at Taysha is to build upon these advancements to eradicate monogenic CNS diseases for the thousands affected. In joining forces with UT Southwestern—home to some of the brightest minds in gene therapy—we will advance our deep pipeline of potentially curative medicines with speed and scale. At Taysha, we are ushering in a new era of gene therapy drug development, one in which we can rapidly translate early discoveries into the clinic and beyond.”

Taysha has also entered a strategic partnership with UT Southwestern, which has developed a GMP viral vector manufacturing facility with the capacity to support Taysha’s preclinical and clinical development programs. Under the agreement, UT Southwestern will conduct discovery and preclinical research, lead IND-enabling studies, provide clinical GMP manufacturing, and execute natural history studies. Taysha will be responsible for all clinical development, regulatory strategy, commercial manufacturing and commercialization activities.

“Together with Taysha, we are merging cutting-edge translational research, hands-on clinical care, and proven regulatory and commercial expertise – ultimately creating an engine for new cures,” said Claire Aldridge, Ph.D., Taysha Board Member and Associate Vice President of Commercialization and Business Development at UT Southwestern Medical Center. “In a short amount of time, I’ve already witnessed how quickly and efficiently we can leverage our collective expertise and resources to advance new gene therapies to the patients who so desperately need them.”

Taysha is working on developing an AAV capsid platform that utilizes machine learning, DNA shuffling and directed evolution to improve more targeted delivery of its product candidates. Currently, the company has 15 AAV gene therapy programs in its pipeline with options to an additional four programs.

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