venBio Partners and Sofinnova Investments co-lead Series A round alongside Apollo Health Ventures with Evotec SE joining the current round

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA I October 03, 2019 I Aeovian Pharmaceuticals, a company developing innovative therapies for the treatment of rare and age-related diseases, today announced the close of a $37 million Series A financing co-led by venBio Partners and Sofinnova Investments, alongside founding investors Apollo Health Ventures and Evotec SE. The proceeds from this financing will be used to advance its lead selective mTORC1 inhibitor, AE116, from the preclinical stage through clinical proof of concept for an undisclosed rare disease of the central nervous system (CNS).

“The strong financial support and expertise from our investors will enable Aeovian to realize the full potential of our mTORC1 modulation approach,” said Stelios T. Tzannis, MS/PhD, President & CEO of Aeovian. “I am particularly excited to have the added expertise and wealth of knowledge that the venBio and Sofinnova teams bring to Aeovian to advance the development of our promising mTORC1-selective inhibitor for our first rare disease indication.”

Richard Gaster, MD, PhD, Principal at venBio, and Mike Powell, PhD, Managing General Partner at Sofinnova Investments, will join Jens Eckstein, PhD, Managing Partner at Apollo Health Ventures on Aeovian’s Board of Directors. Yvonne Yamanaka, PhD, Vice President at venBio, and Sarah Bhagat, PhD, Principal at Sofinnova, will join as Board Observers.

Aeovian’s proprietary platform is supported by an extensive intellectual property portfolio, part of which has been obtained by assignment from the Buck Institute of Novato, California, the nation’s first independent research facility focused solely on understanding the connection between aging and chronic disease.

“We believe that Aeovian’s differentiated and selective mTORC1 inhibitor approach can have broad application in rare diseases with high unmet need,” said Richard Gaster, a venBio Principal and Aeovian Director. “We look forward to initially pursuing rare CNS disease indications, but can see a large opportunity to also target age-related diseases more broadly.”

“We are truly delighted to welcome these experienced life science venture firms to Aeovian,” said Jens Eckstein, Managing Partner at Apollo Health Ventures, “It strengthens our mission at Apollo to discover and develop novel medicines for age-related diseases.”

About Aeovian Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Aeovian Pharmaceuticals, Inc. focuses on the discovery and development of novel, highly selective mTORC1 inhibitors for the treatment of rare and age-related diseases. The Company was founded with technology licensed from The Buck Institute for Research on Aging. Aeovian’s lead candidates are poised to overcome the clinical limitations of current mTOR inhibitors, namely their deleterious side effects on metabolic health and immune function that arise from their off-target inhibition of mTORC2. Aeovian’s lead compounds are novel, highly selective modulators of the mTORC1 pathway with the potential to address multiple underlying causes of disease initiation and progression, such as oxidative, cellular, and environmental stress.

About venBio Partners
venBio Partners is a life sciences investment firm that partners with industry leaders to build innovative medicines and technologies, with a focus on novel therapeutics for unmet medical needs. For more information, please visit

About Sofinnova Investments
Sofinnova Investments is a biopharmaceutical investment firm with approximately $2.1B in assets under management. We invest in both private and public therapeutics-focused biotech companies, in both the U.S. and Europe, across all stages of company formation and growth. We seek to build world class companies that aspire to dramatically improve the current state of medical care today and ultimately, the lives of patients. For more information, please visit

About Apollo Health Ventures
Apollo Health Ventures is an early-stage investment firm based in Europe and the U.S. focusing on translating breakthrough discoveries in geroscience. Apollo Health Ventures focuses on assets, platforms and modalities with the potential to treat, prevent, or even reverse age-related diseases such as neurodegenerative disease, cardiovascular disease, sarcopenia, frailty, and cancer, with the ultimate goal of increasing healthy human lifespan. Apollo actively works with scientists and entrepreneurs to create new ventures, and engages in hypothesis-driven company building. For more information, please visit

About Evotec SE
Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches through highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery and development solutions. For more information, please visit

SOURCE: Aeovian Pharmaceuticals