25 Sep Bridging Boston to Milano, Altheia Science Banked the First $11M Over a Series A Capital Raise
Altheia Science signed a license agreement with Boston Children’s Hospital and opened its office at Empire State Building, New York (NY)
Milano (Italy)/New York (NY, US), September 25th, 2018.
Altheia Science, a pioneering start-up founded by two world renowned Italian scientists, Prof. Alessandra Biffi, MD and Prof. Paolo Fiorina, MD, PhD, together with AurorA-TT, a Technology Transfer Company based in Milan, in-licensed from Children’s Medical Center Corporation – Boston Children’s Hospital the intellectual property rights to develop curative and definitive medicines for autoimmune diseases, first focusing on multiple sclerosis and type I diabetes. Altheia Science’s approach will transform the natural history of autoimmunity by modulating PD-L1 expression in patients’ hematopoietic stem cells, achieving durable clinical benefit.
Following the establishment of such a bridge between Boston and Milano, Altheia Science announced today the subscription of $11M (€9.3M). Investors include seasoned private players with successful track record in the biotech sector (key partners in Advanced Accelerator Applications) and the Rovati family’s Fidim/Rottapharm Biotech group.
To foster its development programs, Altheia Science elected the Empire State Building as site of its new office in New York City, seeding the start of operations in the US. The capital raised in this Series A round, which could be extended up to $17.7M (€15M), gives Altheia Science the means to rapidly translate its science into clinical trials in multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes.
“The fundraising campaign is faster than I expected, mirroring the quality of our science” said Paolo Rizzardi, MD, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at Altheia Science. “We can claim the unique feature to couple top-level experience and know-how in autoimmune diseases, cell&gene therapy and translational medicine. We believe knowledge, innovative thinking and a pioneering spirit are the ingredients to deliver transformative medicine, paying most attention to scientific rigorousness and patient safety.”
About Altheia Science
Altheia Science has been founded by Prof. Alessandra Biffi, MD and Prof. Paolo Fiorina, MD, PhD, together with the investment company AurorA-TT. Altheia Science develops pioneering therapeutic tools for autoimmune diseases and cancer. The modulation of PD-L1 expression at the molecular and protein level is key to devise advanced treatments in autoimmune diseases and this can be achieved by first-in-class molecules controlling the PD-L1 pathway and/or by lentiviral vectorbased engineering of patients’ hematopoietic stem cells.
About Alessandra Biffi
Alessandra Biffi, MD, is a pediatric hematologist and stem cell transplant physician with wide experience in gene therapy and translational medicine. She is the current Director of the Gene Therapy Program, Dana- Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, of the Program for Gene Therapy in Rare Diseases in the Department of Medicine of Boston Children’s Hospital, is the Faculty Director for Gene Therapy at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Principal Scientist at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Chair of the Scientific Review Committee for Gene Therapy at Boston Children’s Hospital, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics Harvard Medical School.
She published over 65 peer-reviewed manuscripts and textbook chapters (3076 citations, h index=25). She is actively involved in gene therapy trials for neurological genetic diseases, hemoglobinopathies and immunodeficiencies and has developed a unique expertise in the pre-clinical development and clinical testing of hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy approaches.
Her publication track record includes seminal contribution to the field of cell and gene therapy.
About Paolo Fiorina
Paolo Fiorina, MD, PhD is an Immunologist, Internist and Associate Professor of Endocrinology. He is Director of the Romeo ed Enrica Invernizzi International Center for T1D at the University of Milan, Italy; Associate Professor of Endocrinology, L. Sacco Hospital, University of Milan; Chief of Endocrinology Division, ASST Sacco-Fatebenefratelli, Milan, Italy and Lecturer in Pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He is actively involved in the Grant Committee of JDRF, American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Heart Association (AHA), and American Society of Transplantation (AST). He published over 155 peer-reviewed manuscripts (5700+ citations, h-index 45). He is focused in devising new immune-based preventive and therapeutic strategies for autoimmune diseases.
AurorA-TT is a Technology Transfer Company established in 2017 based in Milan, Italy with the mission to identify promising scientific breakthroughs from academic and research centers in Italy and partner with academia, research institutions and biotech companies based globally. AurorA-TT includes 5 co-founders with more than 115 years of cumulative experience and track record in technology transfer, venture capital, basic research, project/drug selection and development, market access and launch of pharmaceutical and biotechnology products, spanning from small molecules to advanced therapy medicinal products: Guido Guidi, MD, Chairman, former Head Pharma Region Europe Novartis; Paolo Rizzardi, MD, former General Manager MolMed SpA and Chairman & CEO Altheia Science; Pierluigi Paracchi, Chairman & CEO at Genenta Science and Corporate Consultant at Altheia Science; Gabriele Campi, PhD, former researcher, venture capitalist and technology transfer manager, Project Manager Altheia Science; Edoardo Negroni, MBA, entrepreneur in drug discovery and former pharma executive.
About Boston Children’s Hospital
Boston Children’s Hospital, the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, is home to the world’s largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center. Its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. Today, more than 3,000 scientists, including 8 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 17 members of the National Academy of Medicine and 12 Howard Hughes Medical Investigators comprise Boston Children’s research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Boston Children’s is now a 415-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care. For more, visit our Vector and Thriving blogs and follow us on social media @BostonChildrens, @BCH_Innovation, Facebook and YouTube.
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