Auxilius Pharma Raises Seed Funding of $1 Million and Commences its Clinical Program
Auxilius Pharma has consolidated its funding of $1 Million for developing its lead asset, AUX-001, an innovative new medication for treating chronic-stable angina pectoris in the US, a condition affecting 11 million Americans over the age of 20. The company raised late last year USD 1MM in a seed financing round led EU based by venture capital fund CofounderZone.
“We are extremely happy that already at this early stage, institutional investors have already taken notice of our leadership position in the R&D of new compounds for this common and disabling cardiovascular condition. Later this year, we are planning to start discussions related to further financing for our pipeline development,” says the CEO, Jed Litwiniuk. Litwiniuk, a mid-career executive who has previously headed clinical operations and worked for several financial institutions in the healthcare space, clearly sees the commercial opportunity for Auxilius’ product in development.
Auxilius Pharma, a venture set up in 2019 by founders Uwe Tigör, MD, and Jed Liwiniuk, MHA, after its two founders met during a master’s program at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. The lead product the company is developing focuses on an area of particularly high unmet clinical need – the treatment of chronic stable angina pectoris (CSAP). A recent enormous study (CLARIFY) has demonstrated that over 1/3 of patients still have angina symptoms five years after diagnosis. The symptomatic treatment of this common cardiovascular condition, most known for its typical exercise-induced chest pain in patients with underlying coronary artery disease, the most common cardiovascular disease in the US, has seen very little development in medications to address the chest pain symptoms that so many patients suffer from. In fact, the approval of Ranexa (ranolazine, Gilead) represents the last anti-anginal agent approved in the US as far back as 2006, more than 15 years ago.
“Treatment of symptomatic angina has not lacked innovation,” says Chief Medical Officer Uwe Tigör, “but it appears we have put our money – and our faith – at least partially on the wrong approach.” That approach is elective invasive revascularization, mainly coronary artery stent placement or PCI and, to a lesser degree, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) in an attempt to profit from the tremendous innovations that occurred in this area over the past 25 years. Those procedures pose a significant economic cost to the system, with an average cost of elective PCI and CABG amounting to USD 15,000 and USD 150,000, respectively.
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