Satori Pharmaceuticals, which develops therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease (AD), has raised an additional $15 million in financing. Current investors InterWest Partners, New Enterprise Associates Inc. (NEA) and Prospect Venture Partners co-led the round.
Prior to this round, Satori had raised a total of $25 million in financing which has allowed the company to select a group of lead compounds poised for clinical development.
The Company also announced that Donald Hayden was elected as Chairman of the Board of Directors and that Dr. David Schnell, of Prospect Ventures and Stephen Muniz of PureTech Ventures were appointed as new members of Satori's Board.
"It is becoming widely understood among experts in the field that the neurotoxic amyloid beta (AB) 42 peptide is a primary bad actor in the onset and progression of AD," said Hayden. "Satori has demonstrated in a preclinical setting that modulating gamma-secretase has the potential to effectively and selectively lower levels of AB42 - the main component of amyloid beta plaques. I am particularly drawn to Satori's ambitious goal of developing a safe, oral drug with the potential to slow or stop the progression of the disease."
"Today's announcement demonstrates that Satori is taking the next step in its growth as a company," said Dr. Jeffrey Ives, CEO. "Until now we have been quietly validating the scientific approach behind our lead compounds - which are orally available, highly selective and what we believe to be the best in the industry pipeline. This round of funding and the addition of three great advisors in Don, David and Steve position us nicely as we prepare to begin clinical work on those lead compounds."
Hayden brings to Satori the experiences and perspective resulting from a highly successful 25-year career with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company as well as the insights gained from key roles at a number of smaller, more entrepreneurial pharmaceutical and biotech companies. At Bristol-Myers, Don served as president of Worldwide Medicines; executive vice president and president, Americas; executive vice president of the Health Care Group; president of Oncology and Immunology; and senior vice president for Worldwide Franchise Management and Business Development. Since leaving Bristol-Myers in early 2006, Don has served as Chairman of the Boards of Vitae Pharmaceuticals, Insmed and Gloucester Pharmaceuticals. Don also serves as Lead Director of Amicus Therapeutics and is a Director of both Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and Nora Therapeutics. Hayden is also a Senior Advisor to Prospect Venture Partners.
David Schnell is a co-founder and Managing Director of Prospect Venture Partners. David has led investments and served on the Board of Directors of numerous successful private and public companies, and he has worked closely with many talented entrepreneurs and executives to help launch, grow and manage innovative enterprises. Since 1997, Prospect has raised and managed more than $1B of committed capital from foundations, endowments, pension funds and others to support the growth and investment objectives of more than 50 private companies. These companies pursue discovery, development and commercialization of novel biomedical products and technologies addressing important unmet medical needs.
Muniz is a Partner at PureTech Ventures, as well as the General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining PureTech, he was a Partner in the Corporate Department of Edwards, Angell, Palmer & Dodge LLP (EAPD), where he practiced law for 10 years. Mr. Muniz's practice at EAPD focused on the representation of life science venture funds as well as their portfolio companies in general corporate matters and in investment and liquidity transactions.
Alzheimer's disease is characterized by the formation of amyloid beta plaques in the brain. Plaques are primarily composed of two main forms of amyloid beta: AB40 and AB42. Satori's program aims to reduce the amount of AB42 in the brain by modulating gamma-secretase, thus lowering brain amyloid, plaque formation and associated damage to normal neuronal function. Studies have demonstrated Satori's proprietary class of gamma-secretase modulators (GSMs) achieve a reduction in AB42 levels without altering total amyloid beta levels in cell lines and animal models of the disease. The Company intends to file an IND on the lead modulator of gamma-secretase in 2012.