Taysha Gene Therapies secures $50 million investment from Japanese company to fight rare diseases » Dallas Innova

R.A. Session II, president, CEO, and founder of Taysha Gene Therapies [Background image: Olena Yepifanova via iStock]
RA Session II, President, CEO and Founder of Taysha Gene Therapies [Background image: Olena Yepifanova via iStock]

Taysha Gene Therapies has got a $50 million investment to advance its optimized portfolio of new therapies targeting rare diseases.

The Dallas-based biotech firm has received investment from Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas Pharma in a move it says will address the unmet medical needs of patients with Rett syndrome and giant axonal neuropathy.

“We believe this investment not only further validates the potential of our technology platform, but also strengthens the market and therapeutic opportunity for our two leading clinical assets,” said RA Sessions II, CEO of Taysha, in a statement.

Taysha’s portfolio includes the first and only gene therapy in clinical development for Rett syndrome and a Phase 1/2 development of a GAN treatment pending regulatory comment, according to the startup.

Astellas acquires a 15% stake in Taysha

As part of the agreement, Astellas will acquire a 15% stake in Taysha, along with an exclusive option to license Taysha’s therapeutic development program to treat genetic diseases of the central nervous system. According to the Dallas Morning News, $30 million of Astellas’ investment went to buying shares, while the rest puts the Tokyo-based company in the front of the line to potentially buy Taysha.

Astellas will also gain an observer seat on Taysha’s board of directors, allowing it to draw on the company’s expertise.

Initially launched as a UT Southwestern spin-off with nearly 20 therapies in development, Taysha focused on its therapies for Rett syndrome (TSHA-102) and giant axonal neuropathy (TSHA-120). The first is in clinical development and the second is in Phase 1 and 2 development.

everyone has received Rare Pediatric Disease and Orphan Drug Designations. The move came amid financial difficulties and a 35% reduction in staff in an effort to expand the Taysha airstrip.

Astellas acquired Audentes Therapeutics of California for around $3 billion

Naoki Okamura, Astellas Chief Strategy Officer. [Photo: Astellas]

Astellas chief strategy officer Naoki Okamura said his company’s investment in Taysha aligns with its long-term focus on expanding its gene therapy capabilities. In early 2020, Astellas acquired California-based Audentes Therapeutics for around $3 billion, renaming the company Astellas Gene Therapies, California. The company also opened a “state of the art” commercial manufacturing facility in North Carolina.

“Gene therapy is the cornerstone of Astellas’ main focus, gene regulation,” Okamura said in a statement.

The CSO says Taysha is “an industry leader in CNS gene therapies,” making the partnership a strategic fit with the company’s long-term vision to “expand Astellas’ gene therapy capabilities, allowing allows us to impact the lives of a broader range of patients.” with urgent unmet medical needs.”

The CSO says that “the goal is to bring transformative new treatment options to patients living with serious genetic conditions and limited treatment options.”

Taysha raised $181 million in 2020 IPO

Taysha launched in 2020 and raised $125 million in Series A and B funding in a matter of months before debuting on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol TSHA. The initial public offering brought in about $181 million for the company, after underwriters exercised options to purchase additional shares. After hitting a high of nearly $31 a share, Taysha shares were trading at $2.42 a share this morning.

“The way we’re thinking about 2022 is a focus year,” Session told the Dallas Business Journal during a call with analysts earlier this year. reported.

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