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Barry Cohen
Barry Cohen
Articles (208) 

Taysha Gene Therapies Sets $130 Million Offering

Dallas-based company concentrating initially on rare diseases through partnership with UT Southwestern Medical Center

September 17, 2020 | About:

Management at Taysha Gene Therapies is wasting no time tapping the public market. Just four months after being launched, the company is joining the parade of biotech companies going the initial public offering route with a $130 million offering.

The Dallas-based company already has $30 million in seed funding and a partnership with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center that gave it access to 15 gene therapy programs. Last month, Taysha followed up with a $95 million crossover round needed to advance its lead treatment into clinical trials this year and get three more ready by the end of 2021, according to an article in FierceBiotech.

Gene therapy uses an engineered virus to deliver a functioning gene that replaces a defective one. Xconomy reported that Taysha's gene therapies will be delivered by adeno-associated virus 9, a virus that can cross the blood-brain barrier.

The commercial potential for treatments for rare diseases isn't clear. Sales of drugs for such conditions usually top out in their first year to 18 months after launch, with a big drop off after that because fewer patients need the medication. As a result, Taysha needs to constantly replenish its product line, said company CEO and co-founder R.A. Session, adding that the source of them will be the UTSW Medical Center collaboration.

Although Taysha is initially targeting rare diseases, it will apply its technology to more common diseases. Starting out with AAV gene therapies makes sense because the team knows they work, given they developed the technology at AveXis, which they sold to Novartis (NYSE:NVS) for $8.7 billion.

"We essentially flew the plane and built it at the same time when we were developing AveXis… We have people with the experience of being able to develop, manufacture and commercialize a gene therapy program and we're marrying that with a best-in-class academic research institution," Session said in an interview with FierceBiotech.

Under the agreement, Xconomy reported that UTSW is responsible for the discovery and preclinical research, as well as the studies leading up to an application to start clinical trials. UTSW will also handle manufacturing for clinical trials. Taysha is responsible for clinical testing and regulatory work. Taysha will manufacture and marketing of approved drugs

Disclosure: The author holds no position in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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About the author:

Barry Cohen
Barry Cohen has nearly 40 years experience in communications and marketing, the majority in senior positions at large international health care companies, including Abbott Laboratories and Bayer Inc.

He has contributed to a number of financial websites, writing primarily about the stocks of health care companies.

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