AavantiBio, a Cambridge, MA-based gene therapy company, launched with $107M in Series A financing.
A premier syndicate of life sciences investors including Perceptive Advisors, Bain Capital Life Sciences, and RA Capital Management together with Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRPT), a leader in precision genetic medicine for rare diseases, participated in the round.
Alexander “Bo” Cumbo, a seasoned biopharmaceutical executive, has been appointed AavantiBio’s Chief Executive Officer and President, effective immediately. Mr. Cumbo joins the company after eight years at Sarepta, where he served as Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President. He will continue to serve as an advisor to Sarepta through December 31, 2020.
AavantiBio is co-founded by renowned gene therapy researchers Barry Byrne, M.D., Ph.D., and Manuela Corti, P.T., Ph.D., who together bring thirty years of experience to the Company.
The company’s lead program is in Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA), a rare inherited genetic disease that causes cardiac and central nervous system dysfunction. AavantiBio’s research efforts expand on foundational research conducted by Drs. Byrne and Corti in Friedreich’s Ataxia, among other rare genetic disorders. AavantiBio will benefit from strategic partnerships with the University of Florida’s renowned Powell Gene Therapy Center and the MDA Care Center at UF Health where Drs. Byrne and Corti maintain their research and clinical practices. Initial funding in AavantiBio was provided by GoFAR, an Italian patient advocacy group, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association Venture Philanthropy Fund.
The AavantiBio Board of Directors will be comprised of 8 Directors, including Mr. Cumbo, Drs. Byrne and Corti, representatives of the Investor Group, and two Independent Directors. Louise Rodino-Klapac, Ph.D., senior vice president of gene therapy for Sarepta, will serve as a Board Observer.