Ambys Medicines, a company focusing on regenerative medicines for serious diseases, recently launched a Series A financing round raising $60 million.
The financing was led by Third Rock Ventures, which invested $40 million, while Japan’s Takeda put in $20 million.
Healthcare Weekly said the Japanese firm had further committed $80 million to Ambys, raising the money from the Series A financing round to $140 million.
Takeda will have commercialization rights outside of the U.S for four of Ambys’ drugs that have reached the investigative new drug status, while the start-up will retain all U.S rights.
Ambys said it was focusing on chronic liver diseases, since there had been a rise in mortality due to liver conditions in the U.S and around the world.
The company estimates that there are 600,000 people with liver cirrhosis in the U.S. Another 4 million have earlier forms of diagnosed liver disease.
Jeffrey Tong, Ambys’ Chief Executive Officer and a venture partner at Third Rock Ventures, said the new company promises to “radically reshape the way in which serious liver diseases are treated”.
Ambys has three liver disease programs – cell therapy, gene therapy, and gain-of-function small molecules.
“Major advances in the fields of gene and cell therapy and gain-of-function drug therapies, coupled with deeper understanding of liver biology, create the potential to develop drug therapies that can now restore or replace natural liver function,” Tong said.
Ambys said that although liver transplants remained viable in treating liver disease, the procedure was often complicated and accompanied by serious risks, rendering many candidates ineligible for it.
The company said an average of only 7,000 liver transplants were carried out in the U.S, yet there were 40,000 deaths annually, thus justifying the need for regenerative therapy.
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