Akouos, Inc., a Boston, Mass.-based precision genetic medicine company developing potential gene therapies to restore, improve or preserve hearing, raised $105m in Series B financing.
The round was led by Pivotal bioVenture Partners, with participation from new investors Cormorant Asset Management, Cowen Healthcare Investments, EcoR1 Capital, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Polaris Founders Fund, Pagsgroup, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Wu Capital and other investors, and existing investors 5AM Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Novartis Venture Fund, Partners Innovation Fund, RA Capital Management and Sofinnova Investments. In conjunction with the funding, Vicki Sato, Ph.D., and Heather Preston, M.D. (Pivotal), joined Akouos’ board of directors.
The company intends to use the funds to advance its lead program, AK-OTOF, to first-in-human clinical studies subject to IND filing and acceptance, establish in-house GMP manufacturing capabilities at its new offices in the Boston Seaport, accelerate the development of multiple pipeline programs that address other forms of sensorineural hearing loss with well-defined mechanisms and/or gene targets, and expand its team across research, clinical development and manufacturing.
Led by Manny Simons, Ph.D., founder, president and CEO, Akouos is a genetic medicines company dedicated to developing gene therapies with the potential to restore, improve or preserve hearing. Leveraging its adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector-based gene therapy platform, the company is focused on developing precision therapies for forms of sensorineural hearing loss. The company’s first gene therapy development program, AK-OTOF, is for individuals with sensorineural hearing loss due to mutations in the otoferlin (OTOF) gene.
Akouos has strategic partnerships with Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Lonza, Inc.