Capsida Biotherapeutics Inc.—a Thousand Oaks, CA-based emerging biotechnology company—recently emerged from stealth mode with $ 140 million in start-up capital. Capsida secured a $50 million Series A commitment from Versant Ventures and Westlake Village BioPartners, and a multi-year strategic collaboration and option agreement with AbbVie that provides $90 million in up front and equity investment capital in addition to potential future option, development, and commercial milestone payments.
Capsida is using an adeno-associated virus (AAV) engineering and cargo development platform to develop tissue-targeted gene therapies for both CNS and non-CNS diseases. The AAV engineering platform generates capsids optimized to target specific tissues and cells in the disease organ while limiting transduction of tissues and cells not relevant to the target disease. The platform uses machine learning, structural biology, non-human primate models, and human tissue models to screen billions of engineered capsids and accurately target desired tissue types.
Capsida’s initial internal preclinical programs focus on neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. The company plans to use proceeds from its $50 million Series A financing to open its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility this year and advance its platform into non-CNS disorders. Capsida expects to start Investigational New Drug (“IND”)-enabling work on its first development candidates during 2021 and to start clinical trials in 2022.
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