Arteaus Therapeutics, a company developing drugs to help prevent migraines, has raised $18 million in new venture capital. Atlas Venture and OrbiMed Advisors provided the financing. Jean-Francois Formela, partner at Atlas Venture, and Thomas Schuetz from OrbiMed, serve on the company’s board. Arteaus is based in Cambridge, Mass.
Arteaus Therapeutics, LLC, a biotechnology development company focused on creating new therapies for migraine prevention, has raised $18M in financing from Atlas Venture and OrbiMed Advisors. Arteaus is developing an antibody to calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) as a novel approach for the prevention of migraine headaches. The world-wide rights to develop the antibody have been licensed from Eli Lilly and Company in an innovative collaboration that leverages Lilly’s capabilities and experience developing the antibody with Arteaus’ virtual and capital-efficient approach to achieving clinical proof of concept.
“Migraine is a debilitating condition where the burden of disease can be severe, particularly in patients suffering from frequent migraine attacks. This antibody to CGRP represents a potential breakthrough for migraine prevention as possibly the first antibody therapy for this disease”
“Migraine is a debilitating condition where the burden of disease can be severe, particularly in patients suffering from frequent migraine attacks. This antibody to CGRP represents a potential breakthrough for migraine prevention as possibly the first antibody therapy for this disease,” said David Grayzel, MD, Managing Director of Atlas Venture Development Corp., now CEO of Arteaus.
The data from the Phase 1 single, ascending dose (SAD) study supported the decision to move forward with the development of the antibody, and met the criteria to proceed with a multi-dose cohort expansion. The primary endpoints for the repeat dose portion of this study are to determine the safety, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic effects of the antibody. Data from the trial will likely be presented next year. Arteaus will begin the multi-dose portion of the study at the end of this year and is on track to begin the Phase 2 proof of concept study in the second half of next year.
“Migraines can be extremely disabling and new approaches to prevention are sorely needed for these patients,” said Jonathan T. Silverstein, General Partner at OrbiMed. “We are excited by both the pioneering approach to migraine prophylaxis and Arteaus’ capital-efficient business model.”
Joining Jean-Francois Formela, Partner at Atlas Venture, on the Arteaus Board of Directors is Thomas Schuetz from OrbiMed.
“Licensing this antibody to Arteaus represents another important milestone in Lilly’s external innovation strategy,” said Darren Carroll, Vice President, Corporate Business Development at Eli Lilly and Company. “Working with Atlas Venture Development Corporation and OrbiMed to create a new biotech model for collaboration and funding of pharmaceutical innovation is another way that we are demonstrating our commitment to the development of new medicines.”
Arteaus, using a virtual team and collaborating with Lilly’s Chorus unit, will develop the antibody through Phase 2 randomized clinical trials to demonstrate proof of concept in migraine prevention. Upon completion of the Phase 2 study Lilly will have the option to continue development of the antibody at pre-negotiated terms including milestones and royalties.
Arteaus is a product-focused biotechnology company developing a novel treatment for migraine prevention and is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
About Atlas Venture
Atlas Venture is a leading early-stage venture capital firm that invests in technology and life sciences companies. Since inception in 1980, Atlas has helped build over 350 companies in more than 16 different countries. Atlas Venture is currently investing from its eighth fund and manages over $2 billion in capital. For more information, please visit: www.atlasventure.com
About Atlas Venture Development Corp (AVDC)
AVDC is dedicated to developing late preclinical and clinical stage programs through to key value inflection points. Established by Atlas Venture in 2010, AVDC is partnering with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies using a highly flexible model to establish a portfolio of clinical assets. AVDC’s partnership model provides larger organizations the opportunity to pursue alternative approaches to program selection and execution, and furnishes a strategic addition to traditional pipeline development.
About OrbiMed Advisors
OrbiMed is the world’s largest life sciences and healthcare-dedicated investment firm, with approximately $5 billion in assets under management. Since inception of its private equity investment activities in 1993, OrbiMed has successfully invested in close to 100 companies across a wide range of therapeutic categories and stages of development. OrbiMed’s investment team includes approximately 30 experienced professionals with backgrounds in science, medicine, industry, finance and law. OrbiMed’s professionals work together using a collaborative, team-oriented approach to support their portfolio companies, which has earned OrbiMed a reputation as a capital provider of choice for life sciences companies of all stages.
Thirty-six million Americans suffer from migraines. This condition is characterized by recurrent episodes of severe headache, often accompanied by a variety of other symptoms including nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and changes in vision. The International Headache Society estimates that approximately 25% of migraine patients have three or more attacks per month. These patients would greatly benefit from safe and effective migraine prevention treatments. Patients who suffer from frequent migraine attacks suffer greatly and can lose a significant amount of work and family time due to the disease. It is estimated that migraines lead to more than $20 billion in medical expenses and costs related to lost productivity each year.