Autobahn Therapeutics, a San Diego startup working on a therapy for treatment-resistant depression, raised $32.7 million in funding from existing investors led by ARCH Venture Partners.
The company, which was founded on research by Dr. Tom Scanlan of Oregon Health & Science University, is developing a brain chemistry platform for central nervous system disorders. Its drug candidate for depression focuses on the role thyroid hormone plays in the disorder. Autobahn plans to begin an early dosing trial for the drug later this year.
Treatment-resistant depression is defined as a mental health disorder where patients do not respond to two or more approved medications. It is the third most common cause of disability worldwide.
“Since our inception, we have focused on advancing meaningful treatment options for people with central nervous system disorders, and this latest funding allows us to continue executing that mission,” said Kevin Finney, chief executive, president and chairman of Autobahn, in a statement. statement.
In 2020, Autobahn raised $76 million in a first funding round to launch operations. In addition to ARCH Ventures, the company is backed by Cowen Healthcare Investments, BVF Partners, Biogen, Bristol Myers Squibb, Pfizer Ventures, Invus, Section 32, Samsara BioCapital, Alexandria Venture Investments and GT Healthcare.
Autobahn’s drug candidate is a thyroid hormone receptor beta agonist, which the company says may have uses beyond treatment-resistant depression. Based on the results of its Phase 1 study, Autobahn plans to evaluate its therapy for other disorders, including multiple sclerosis.