British biotech AstronauTx has completed a Series A funding round of £48m ($58.4m) to advance its neurodegenerative therapies portfolio, including Alzheimer’s disease therapy.

The London, UK-based startup was created by the specialist venture capitalist fund, Dementia Discovery Fund, with seed funding from the University College London Technology Fund and the UK Future Fund, in 2019.

The Series A funding was led by Novartis Venture Fund and included investments by Bristol Myers Squibb, Brandon Capital, Dementia Discovery Fund, and others.

The funding will advance AstronauTx’s portfolio of small-molecule drugs, including a lead program in Alzheimer’s therapy. These drugs are expected to provide both symptomatic and disease-modifying benefits.

GlobalData forecasts the Alzheimer’s market to generate $13.7bn in sales across the eight major markets (US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Japan, and China). In July, Eisai and Biogen’s Leqembi (lecanemab-irmb) was approved for treating Alzheimer’s in the US. The monoclonal antibody has since been approved in other countries.

GlobalData is the parent company of Pharmaceutical Technology.

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The Series A is not the first funding news of the year for the company. In September, AstronauTx received funding for a preclinical program from the Innovate UK grant. In July, the UK-based company also partnered with a Danish biotech, Saniona, to identify new undisclosed ion channel target therapies.

As per the agreement, Saniona will be entitled to up to SEK 1.9bn ($172.5m) in milestone-based payments along with royalties on global sales for the therapies developed as part of the collaboration. The Danish company will also receive SEK 15m ($1.36m) in research funding during the first year of the partnership.

“We now know that the processes causing Alzheimer’s and other similar diseases are modifiable,” said AstronauTx co-founder, Dr. Ruth McKernan.

“Our treatments will be oral drugs, applicable across multiple neurodegenerative conditions, and additive with mechanisms that are currently in late-stage development.”