Based in San Francisco, California, Alector announced Wednesday it will receive $133 million after a Series E funding, helping the company get closer to developing a treatment for the Alzeimer’s disease. The company focuses on developing immunotherapy treatments to battle neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s and Frontotemporal dementia being the first two disorders it plans to target.
After receiving $225 million in funding last October, Alector announced its research for battling Alzheimer’s was still in early stages, and that the company hoped to do big things over the next two years.
This new capital infusion will help Alector and the big biotech players backing it up to possibly advance to the point of human trials.
“There has been a lack of new approaches to treat the underlying causes of devastating neurodegenerative diseases such as frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and Alzheimer’s disease,” Sabah Oney, Alector’s Chief Business Officer, said.
The company’s goal is to focus on five drugs and get those into human trials. From these five, the plan is to work on the treatment targeting Alzheimer’s and frontotemporal dementia first.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a type of dementia resulting in memory loss, impaired rational thinking and major behavioral changes.
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD), this form of dementia for which Alector is also seeking treatment, has an earlier onset then AD. It is commonly diagnosed in those between 45 and 64 according to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration.
Finding a drug for either or both of these conditions will certainly prove invaluable for present and future generations. With baby boomers reaching the age when AD typically makes its debut, the need of finding treatments becomes ever more urgent.
Digital transformation in the biotech and pharma space, as well as AI and healthcare startups are becoming significantly more popular investments among venture capitalist firms. Only two weeks ago, another startup, Verge Genomics, received $32 million towards using data analytics to predict the success rate for new Alzheimer’s disease drugs.
Recently, Healthcare Weekly included Alector on their list of best healthcare startups to watch for in 2018.