Four months after its founding, Arteaus Therapeutics raised $18 million from two venture firms toward developing an antibody to calcitonin gene-related peptide for preventing migraine headaches. The company has already licensed worldwide rights to develop the antibody from Eli Lilly.
Arteaus has completed a Phase I single ascending-dose (SAD) study, which it said supported the decision to proceed with developing the antibody, as well as with a multidose cohort expansion. Primary endpoints for the SAD study will be to determine the antibody’s safety, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic effects. Arteaus will begin the SAD study at the end of this year.
During the second half of next year, Arteaus said, it will start a Phase II proof of concept study using a virtual team in collaboration with Lilly’s Chorus unit. Arteaus will develop the antibody through Phase II randomized clinical trials to demonstrate proof of concept in migraine prevention.
Upon completion of the Phase II study Lilly will have the option to continue development of the antibody at prenegotiated terms that include milestones and royalties.
Atlas Venture and OrbiMed Advisors raised the $18 million funding round. OrbiMed’s Thomas Schuetz joined Arteaus’ board, which already includes Jean-Francois Formela, a partner at Atlas Venture. Arteaus’ CEO, David Grayzel, M.D., is managing director of Atlas Venture Development, an Atlas Venture offshoot dedicated to developing late preclinical and clinical-stage programs through to what it deems key value milestones.