Akouos, US-based precision genetic medicine company raises funding of $50 million
Akouos is developing targeted adeno-associated viral vector (AAV)-based gene therapies for sensorineural hearing loss, which results from damage to sensory cells and/or nerve fibres of the inner ear.
Akouos is a US-based biotechnology company that over the years have been developing novel therapies and also delivery systems that prevent hearing loss and restoration of the genetically-defined patients. They have been raising money in a series of financing to help patients with hearing problems. The company is based in Boston which is MA-based that deals with precision genetic medicine.
Akouos has now raised a funding of $ 50 million to generate therapies that will restore and preserve hearing in patients in the US. The funding was led by 5 AM Ventures and NEA which is new enterprise associates together with existing investors partner innovation fund and the new investors Safinnova ventures, Norvatis venture fund and RA Capital management.
More than 360 million people worldwide who are suffering from hearing loss are still waiting for FDA to approve therapies that will address the problems. The funds they have corrected will be used in advancing their lead program for human clinical trials and their pipeline programs.
They are targeting to use an adeno-associated Viral vector which is based on gene therapies for sensorineural hearing loss, which causes damage to sensory cells or the nerve fibers in the inner part of the year. Most of this cases are found in newborn babies and also affects nearly quarter of adults who are over 65 years, thus making it the most common form of hearing loss and disorder.
The company mostly focus on the sensorineural hearing loss that comes in the form of monogenic forms where individual genes are mutated leading to profound deafness.
Akouos has entered into an agreement with Lonza and Massachusetts that deal with eye and ear problems for exclusive rights to the Anc-AAV platform for gene therapy on all hearing and balance disorders.
“Hearing loss is one of the greatest challenges in medicine today, and with no FDA-approved therapies available, an area of severe unmet need,” said Manny Simons, founder and chief executive officer of Akouos, in a statement. “Akouos has a unique opportunity to bring forward the world’s first precision medicines for individuals with genetically-driven forms of hearing loss.
The expansion of our team and investor base, in addition to our founding partnerships with Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Lonza, puts us in a strong position to advance the clinical studies that will convert the promise of our approach into meaningful therapies.”
Akouos has assembled the world’s leaders in neurotology, genetics, inner ear drug delivery and gene therapy under one roof to develop gene therapies that aim to improve hearing with a one-time administration. This team, focused on highly validated biology and targeted delivery, and leveraging a state-of-the-art proprietary platform technology, is uniquely positioned to change the standard of care for hearing disorders.
The gene therapies will restore and preserve hearing to patients who are already suffering from this disease. The hearing loss being one of the greatest challenges that medics are facing today because there are therapies that have been approved so far by FDA.
The gene therapy will change the lives of patients who are suffering from this either adults or newborns. They are also continuing to do more research that will help in the innovation of new therapies to solve this problem.
Image credit: www.akouos.com