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Wednesday 20 July, 2016

PureTech Health PLC

Two Pharma Funds Invest in PureTech's Akili

RNS Number : 6718E
PureTech Health PLC
20 July 2016
 

 

20 July 2016

PureTech Health plc

 

PureTech's Akili Adds Two Pharma Venture Funds to Series B Financing, Increasing Round to $42.4 Million

 

Akili now has relationships with four major biopharma companies or their investment affiliates

 

PureTech Health plc ("PureTech", LSE: PRTC), a cross-disciplinary biotech company tackling fundamental healthcare needs in disruptive ways, notes an $11.9 million expansion of its operating company Akili Interactive Labs Inc.'s ("Akili") Series B financing - bringing the total Series B proceeds to $42.4 million. Amgen Ventures, the venture arm of Amgen, and Merck Ventures BV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany (known as M Ventures in the United States and Canada) joined existing investors, including PureTech. With the investments from Amgen Ventures and M Ventures, Akili now has four relationships with major biopharma companies or their investment affiliates, including its existing partnership with Pfizer, Inc. and an investment from Shire Pharmaceuticals.

 

Daphne Zohar, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at PureTech, said: "We see immense value for safe and effective non-pharmacological treatments along with diagnostics for patients across a range of mental health and neurological conditions. The commitment from Amgen Ventures and M Ventures, alongside existing investors, demonstrates additional validation and confidence in Akili. We believe that these and other relationships signify our leadership position at the interface of mental health and digital medicine."

 

In January this year, Akili announced it had raised $30.5 million in new equity from investors including JAZZ Venture Partners, Canepa Advanced Healthcare Fund and PureTech. This additional investment brings the round to $42.4 million.

 

Akili is currently conducting a pivotal trial of its lead product candidate, Project: EVO™, in paediatric Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) through the STARS-ADHD study, with an anticipated read-out in the first half of 2017. If the results of this pivotal study are favourable, Akili plans to seek approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration by the end of 2017 for this potential first-in-class treatment. Akili also anticipates data from the Alzheimer's pilot biomarker study funded by Pfizer to be available in the second half of 2016. The company has multiple clinical studies in cognitive disorders and has recently expanded into disorders across neurodegeneration where cognition is significantly impacted, including Parkinson's disease, major depressive disorder, and multiple sclerosis, both for the potential to better track the disease course and for the potential of early non-pharmacological treatment. 

 

The full text of the announcement from Akili is as follows:

 

Akili Adds Amgen Ventures and M Ventures* to Series B Financing, Increasing Round to $42.4 Million

 

Marks commitment to digital medicine for the two pharma venture firms

 

BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 20, 2016 - Akili Interactive Labs, Inc. ("Akili"), a digital medicine company developing novel, non-pharmacological therapeutics and diagnostics for cognitive disorders, today announced an $11.9 million expansion of its recent Series B financing. *Merck Ventures BV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany (known as M Ventures in the United States and Canada), and Amgen Ventures, the venture arm of Amgen, joined existing investors to bring the total Series B proceeds to $42.4 million. Akili will use the funds to support and expand clinical development of its clinical-stage products into new areas, with an expanded focus on neurodegeneration, and to build out its commercial infrastructure as Akili nears the market with its late-stage products. With the M Ventures and Amgen Ventures investments, Akili now has four relationships with major biopharma companies or their investment affiliates, including its existing partnership with Pfizer, Inc. and an investment from Shire Pharmaceuticals.

"We're excited to see M Ventures and Amgen Ventures commit to the development of digital medicine, and we're proud to be M Ventures' first investment in the space," said Eddie Martucci, Ph.D., Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Akili. "There exists a tremendous opportunity to deliver medicine that is efficacious and addresses the needs for safe, non-pharmacological treatments in many neurological and mental health patient populations. M Ventures' and Amgen Ventures' support, combined with that of our existing investors, will help us continue to advance our projects toward commercialisation."

"The investment in Akili represents the first investment from our recently announced New Businesses fund," said Roel Bulthuis, Managing Director of M Ventures. "We believe digital medicine is the next frontier in healthcare, and we're committed to helping bring digital into mainstream biopharma for a variety of patient and clinical needs. We see the medical segment within digital health growing rapidly, so we're engaging with pioneering strategic partners like Akili to help advance this new category of medicine."

 

Akili is currently conducting a pivotal trial of its lead product candidate, Project: EVO, in paediatric Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) through the STARS-ADHD study and plans to seek approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration for this potential first-in-class treatment if the results of the pivotal study are favourable. The company has multiple clinical studies in cognitive disorders and has recently expanded into disorders across neurodegeneration where cognition is significantly impacted, including Parkinson's disease, major depressive disorder, and multiple sclerosis, both for the potential to better track the disease course and for the potential of early non-pharmacological treatment. 

 

About Amgen Ventures

Amgen Ventures is the strategic venture capital arm of Amgen and provides emerging innovative companies with financial and other resources to develop pioneering discoveries to treat grievous human illnesses.

 

About M Ventures

Merck Ventures BV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, known as M Ventures in the United States and Canada, is the strategic, corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

 

About Project: EVOTM Platform

Akili's lead product platform, Project: EVOTM, is based on technology exclusively licensed from the lab of Dr. Adam Gazzaley at the University of California, San Francisco. The mechanics of the platform are designed to directly target an individual's core neurological ability to process multiple streams of information, which represents a novel neurological target for Akili's intervention and monitoring products. The intervention product has the potential to improve attention, working memory and other executive functions in patients through direct interaction with the device, and the monitoring product may enable screening across neurological and psychiatric disorders. The device can adapt difficulty automatically in real-time, allowing individuals of wide-ranging ability levels to interact with the product remotely without the need for physician calibration. Akili is currently conducting multiple clinical trials of its platform across a variety of patient populations, including paediatric ADHD, autism spectrum disorder (in collaboration with Autism Speaks), depression, Alzheimer's disease and traumatic brain injury.

 

About Akili Interactive Labs

Akili is building clinically validated cognitive treatments and assessments that are delivered in an action video game interface. Leveraging medical-grade science and consumer-grade software technology, the company is seeking to produce a new type of medical product that can offer safe and effective scalable treatment and better patient monitoring for patients across a range of mental health and neurological conditions. The company was founded by PureTech Health (PRTC.L), together with leading neuroscientists and game designers. Akili has garnered investment from Shire PLC and has strategic partnerships with Pfizer, Inc. and Autism Speaks.

 

With additional option grants to Akili management, PureTech Health plc (PRTC.L) will own approximately 59% of the company on a diluted basis1 (after the investment of the second tranche in September 2016).

 

(1) This calculation of PureTech's holding includes issued and outstanding shares as well as options to purchase shares, but excludes unallocated shares authorised to be issued pursuant to equity incentive plans.

 

About PureTech Health

PureTech Health (PureTech Health plc, PRTC.L) is a cross-disciplinary biotech company focused on areas of growing scientific and technical insights that it believes are at an important inflection point, including the central nervous, gastro-intestinal and immune systems, and the interactions and signalling between them. PureTech has approximately 20 clinical studies across its pipeline targeting multi-billion dollar market opportunities, including five human proof-of-concept studies and multiple pivotal or registration study readouts expected in the next two years. While inevitably some technologies will not advance to commercialisation, PureTech's approach mitigates risk as most of the cash resides on a PureTech parent company level, allowing PureTech to build value and divert cash to its most successful programmes as milestones are achieved. PureTech has over 220 patents and patent applications. PureTech's leading team and board, along with an advisory network of more than 60 expert founder-scientists and advisors across multiple disciplines, gives PureTech access to potentially ground-breaking science and technological innovation. With healthcare undergoing major transformation, PureTech believes it is well positioned to develop and launch medicines for the 21st century. For more information, visit www.puretechhealth.com and connect with us on Twitter.

 

Forward Looking Statement

This press release contains statements that are or may be forward-looking statements, including statements that relate to the company's future prospects, developments and strategies. The forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance and achievements to differ materially from current expectations, including, but not limited to, those risks and uncertainties described in the risk factors included in the regulatory filings for PureTech Health plc. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions regarding the present and future business strategies of the company and the environment in which it will operate in the future. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as at the date of this press release. Except as required by law and regulatory requirements, neither the company nor any other party intends to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

Enquiries

 

PureTech

Allison Mead, Director, Communications and Investor Relations

+1 617 651 3156

 

FTI Consulting (Communications adviser to PureTech)

Ben Atwell

Matthew Cole

 

+44 (0) 20 3727 1000

 


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
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