Supporting new biotech companies spinning out of academia
Professor Philip Beales has been studying ciliopathies and caring for patients with Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) for over 25 years (he follows ~700 patients with BBS in the UK across 4 separate clinics) which led to him building the first registry and DNA biobank for BBS in the UK. He has been a medical advisor to the UK BBS patient advocacy society, BBSUK for the past 27 years. Professor Beales’ research into BBS gene therapy using AAV vectors at University College London together with CSO and co-founder, Dr. Victor Hernandez, culminated late 2019 with the creation of, Axovia Therapeutics, a company to further the research and development of BBS1 and other ciliopathy gene therapies.
Boyds played an important role during early discussions at both a technical and strategic level in the structural relationships within and between Axovia (‘New Co’), its financial backers, Deerfield Management (a healthcare specific investment firm), and ultimately its US-based parent biotechnology company, the fledgling Jaguar Gene Therapies (‘Parent Co’), which would go on to provide manufacturing infrastructure and commercial support to Axovia. From the inception of Axovia and whilst the team was physically still located within UCL, the Boyds Product Development Team played a key role in moving the BBS1 and BBS10 programmes forward by putting in place product development plans and basic program level governance systems. During this time we supported the projects through:
- Gantt charts to document project timelines
- RACI matrices to show who owned which activities
- Risk registers for the programmes
- Strategic regulatory advice to determine the most appropriate regulatory pathway
This input enabled the translational work and development planning for these programmes to be progressed in parallel with funding efforts and the legal mechanics of creating the company.
Impact and Outcomes
Axovia Therapeutics is now a fully independent company in its own right and having successfully raised $45 M in a Series A fundraise in December 2020, is pushing the science as quickly as possible to develop potential new treatments for and give hope to patients with BBS-associated ciliopathies.