Kate Therapeutics Debuts With $51 Million Series A to Develop Next-Generation Genetic Medicines to Treat Muscle and Heart Diseases
Kate Therapeutics, a next-generation gene therapy company, today emerged from stealth mode with a $51 million Series A funding co-led by founding investor Westlake Village BioPartners and Versant Ventures, with participation from Osage University Partners and UF Innovate | Ventures. In addition, the company has granted Astellas Pharma Inc. an exclusive, worldwide license to develop, manufacture and commercialize KT430 to treat X-linked myotubular myopathy (XLMTM), the details of which are described in a separate press release issued today.
There are a large number of genetically defined and complex muscle and heart diseases that cannot currently be addressed due to a lack of specific and effective delivery to these tissues. Adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based capsids have shown promise to deliver therapeutic cargoes in other organs, but have been hampered for use in muscle and heart by limited potency, lack of tissue selectivity and minimal regulation of cargoes.
“We are excited to announce KateTx’s launch and what this means for patients suffering from muscle and heart diseases,” said Kevin Forrest, Ph.D., president, CEO and a director of KateTx. “KateTx is applying novel capsid and cargo technology platforms to enable skeletal and cardiac muscle targeting and liver de-targeting. We believe our technologies can provide safer and more effective medicines for patients.”
Proceeds from the funding and license agreement will support the advancement of the initial internal portfolio of Kate Therapeutics muscle and heart disease programs, including myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), which are two of the leading causes of adult-onset muscular dystrophy.
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