Gene Therapy Platform for Treatment of Neuro-Inflammatory Diseases
June 25, 2015 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA–(BUSINESS WIRE)—PBM Capital Group, a healthcare-focused private investment firm, announces an investment in Xalud Therapeutics (www.xaludthera.com). This round of financing will help support the company’s gene therapy platform targeting multiple neuro-inflammatory diseases. PBM will have two representatives on Xalud’s Board of Directors and will also provide operational support to the Company.
Xalud Therapeutics is an IND-stage platform gene therapy company developing novel therapies with several promising therapeutic programs for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases including neuropathic pain and osteoarthritis. Xalud’s technology was developed by Dr. Linda Watkins at the University of Colorado, Boulder. It is based on her pioneering insight that the basis for the strength and persistence of neuropathic pain is inflammation caused by activated glial cells.
“This investment will allow Xalud to advance products, which have been the subject of years of research, through completion of IND-enabling studies and rapidly progress them into human clinical studies that address unmet medical need in large therapeutic areas,” said Sean Stalfort, one of PBM Capital’s representatives on the Xalud Board of Directors. This investment follows more than a decade of investing in cutting edge technology and gene therapy by the PBM Capital Group, most recently in AveXis (www.avexisbio.com), an AAV-based gene therapy company targeting Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).
Stephen Collins, MD, PhD, will serve as Executive Chairman of Xalud. Dr. Collins is a seasoned leader having been the Chief Scientific Officer & VP Clinical Affairs of Ovation Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Lundbeck HS) and Global Senior Director of CNS and Pain at Johnson & Johnson, overseeing the early-stage development of neurologic, pain and psychiatric agents. Prior to Johnson & Johnson, he worked in Abbott Laboratories’ Pharmaceutical and Hospital Products Divisions. Previous to his industry experience, Dr. Collins was in the Departments of Neurology and Neurosciences at Case Western Reserve University, and University of California-San Francisco (UCSF).
“We are excited to work with PBM Capital in developing our pipeline of gene therapy treatments that may significantly improve the lives of patients suffering from a number of neuro-inflammatory diseases,” said Dr. Collins. “We plan on leveraging over 20 years of good scientific results with PBM Capital’s strong operational track record and resources to accelerate these clinical programs.”
Xalud has a strong Scientific Advisory Board, led by co-founders Linda Watkins, PhD and John Forsayeth, PhD. Dr. Watkins is recognized as one of the world’s premier experts on glia research and neurological applications including chronic pain. She is the author of over 400 publications and is currently the University of Colorado’s Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience. Dr. Forsayeth, PhD is currently a Professor of Neurological Surgery at UCSF. Previously, he was Director, Neurobiology at Avigen, Parkinson’s Disease Program Leader at Elan Pharmaceuticals and a Director of Molecular Biology at Neurex. Other members of the Scientific Advisory Board include leading researchers at MD Anderson, Stanford, UCSF, University of Colorado, University of Maryland and University of Pittsburgh.
About PBM Capital Group
PBM Capital Group, LLC. is a private investment firm primarily focused on healthcare investments. Led by Paul Manning, a successful entrepreneur, the PBM Capital Group partners with exceptional scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs who have developed game-changing technology that can improve and save the lives of millions of people. The goal is to create financially strong companies that change the way we live our lives through science, innovation, and creativity. PBM creates value by applying extensive industry knowledge and contacts, providing superior operational expertise and bringing entrepreneurial spirit to attractive investment opportunities. PBM Capital has invested in and helped grow several successful companies including AveXis, Enzymatics, Breas Medical, ArcherDx, Firefly Bioworks, and Genometry. Visit www.pbmcap.com for more information.
Jayson Rieger, SVP PBM Capital Group