December 7, 2020
Basking Biosciences, Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceutical company developing a next-generation treatment for acute ischemic stroke* (AIS) announced an initial closing of a $5.4M Seed Series financing.
Basking Biosciences notes the investor syndicate includes Rev1 Ventures, Broadview Ventures, and Viva BioInnovator. Concurrent with the financing, Ryan Helon of Rev1, Thomas Needham of Broadview, and Dr. Dan Meyers have joined Basking’s Board of Directors.
Basking is developing the first reversible thrombolytic therapy for acute ischemic stroke (AIS). The Company’s development candidate, DTRI-031, is an RNA aptamer that inhibits von Willebrand Factor (vWF). Basking is co-developing a matched oligonucleotide reversal agent, DTRI-025, for as-needed, rapid reversal of DTRI-031. Basking’s paired therapy has the potential to significantly expand the population of patients that receives acute thrombolytic therapy by extending the treatment window to 24 hours post stroke onset and aligns well with the urgent need in medicine for precision-based therapeutics in cardiovascular disease. The program is expected to enter into human clinical trials in Q2 2021.
Basking’s technology is based on two decades of translational research on RNA aptamers as therapeutic agents for cardiovascular diseases conducted by company founders Professor Bruce Sullenger and Dr. Shahid Nimjee at Duke University and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center respectively.
Tom Needham of Broadview Ventures said, “At Broadview, we focus exclusively on investing in promising technologies to better treat cardiovascular and neurovascular disease. We are extremely excited about the potential for Basking’s therapy to extend the treatment window and expand the number of patients eligible to receive acute stroke intervention.”
“We are delighted that this strong group of early investors recognize the devastating global burden of stroke, and have joined us to advance Basking’s novel stroke therapy into clinical development,” said Richard Shea, Chief Executive Officer of Basking Biosciences. “We believe that vWF, the only non-redundant mediator of platelet adhesion and aggregation, is the ideal target to effect consistent thrombolysis in AIS patients.”
*Over 15 million people worldwide suffer from a stroke each year. With 6 million deaths annually, stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide after cardiovascular disease and is the leading cause of long-term disability. In the United States, ischemic stroke affects approximately 700,000 people annually and results in 140,000 deaths.
AIS patients who require urgent revascularization are undertreated with the current standard of care. The only FDA-approved pharmacologic therapy for clot thrombolysis, recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rTPA), has a narrow treatment window that restricts its use to 3 – 4.5 hours post stroke onset. Initiating rTPA treatment beyond the 4.5-hour window also increases the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage, leading to high morbidity and mortality in stroke patients. The narrow treatment window required for safe and effective use of rTPA significantly limits its use because many AIS patients present beyond the 3 – 4.5-hour time window, and therefore are ineligible for therapy.