E-Scape Bio Hits $63 Million in Financing to Develop Alzheimer’s Therapy

E-Scape Bio Hits $63 Million in Financing to Develop Alzheimer’s Therapy
E-Scape Bio, the Gladstone Institutes’ spin-off company working to develop therapies for neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, announced that it has raised a total of $63 million in Series A financing from investors. The biotech startup is developing small-molecule drugs that target apoE4, a gene thought to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease development. E-Scape Bio aims to develop drugs that correct the adverse effects of the apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4) gene, based on decades of Alzheimer's research done at the Gladstone Institutes by E-Scape Bio’s scientific co-founders Yadong Huang, MD, PhD, and Robert Mahley, MD, PhD, both Gladstone senior investigators. ApoE4 is one form of the gene responsible for producing apolipoprotein E, a naturally occurring protein in the brain that normally helps clear the deposits of amyloid, one of the culprits causing Alzheimer's disease. People with the apoE4 form of apolipoprotein E are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and of earlier development of certain symptoms, such as memory loss. "Alzheimer's is a complex disease involving multiple factors," Stephen Freedman, PhD, vice president of corporate liaison and ventures at Gladstone said in a press release. "Our scientists made significant progress by uncovering the important role of apoE4 in neuron loss and cognitive decline. We wanted to translate their findings into therapeutics that could help patients with Alzheimer's disease, so we developed partnerships with companies that had similar objectives." The initial investment of $55 million Series A financing (the first round of venture capital investments in a new company) was from a syndicate of five top-tier venture funds (OrbiMed, Novo Holding A/S, Novartis Vent
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