–  Advancing First-In-Class CD8 Treg Modulators to Restore Immune Balance

SEATTLE, WA, USA I October 26, 2021 IMozart Therapeutics, Inc., a new biopharmaceutical company targeting a novel immune pathway to change the course of autoimmune and inflammatory disease, today announced a $55 Million Series A Financing led by seed and Series A investor ARCH Venture Partners along with Sofinnova Partners. Additional investors include Eli Lilly & Company, MRL Ventures Fund (the early-stage therapeutics-focused fund of Merck & Co., Inc.), Leaps by Bayer, Altitude Life Science Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments. 

Mozart was founded on the seminal work of Mark M. Davis, PhD, a leading world expert in the field of T cell biology. Professor Davis discovered that a CD8 T regulatory cell network plays a key role in surveillance, recognition and elimination of inappropriately activated autoreactive and pathogenic immune cells that are a root cause for autoimmune and inflammatory disease1. The technology was licensed to Mozart to develop therapeutic candidates that target and modulate this network for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory disease. 

The company will use the Series A funds to progress its lead CD8 Treg Modulator into the clinic while also advancing additional programs generated from its novel platform.

“Mozart is doing something truly unique to change the treatment paradigm for patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. We aim to reset and restore the immune system balance by leveraging a novel pathway to develop first-in-class CD8 Treg modulators as disease-modifying therapeutics to address an unmet need across a spectrum of diseases.” said Katie Fanning, CEO of Mozart Therapeutics and a 35-year biotech industry veteran. “I am grateful to have the financial support of a strong syndicate of top tier healthcare investors who bring exceptional industry and strategic guidance to advance our therapeutic candidates through development and into the clinic.”  

“Modulating the CD8 T reg network represents a novel way to tackle a root cause of immune system dysregulation. We are pleased to support the advancement of Mozart’s innovative research that may hold promise to significantly impact the course of a wide range of diseases,” said Steve Gillis, PhD, Managing Director of ARCH Venture Partners and Chairman of the Mozart Board of Directors.

“Given the significant and expansive need for impactful therapies for autoimmune and inflammatory disease it is exciting to see Mozart’s novel and distinct approach to address this challenge,” said Henrijette Richter, Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners. “We are delighted to join this world-class syndicate of investors and look forward to supporting the team to establish Mozart as a world class leader in CD8 T regulatory cell network modulation.”

Mozart also announced the formation of a scientific advisory board (SAB) composed of pre-eminent key opinion leaders in the fields of immunology, T cell biology, immune modulation and protein engineering. and its Board of Directors, composed of prominent biotechnology investment and pharmaceutical industry veterans.

Mozart’s Scientific Advisory Board:

  • Mark M. Davis, Ph.D., Scientific Co-Founder, Director of the Stanford Institute for Immunology, Transplantation and Infection (ITI), the Avery Family Professor of Immunology, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.
  • K. Christopher Garcia PhD, Scientific Co-Founder, Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology and Structural Biology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.
  • Calvin Kuo MD PhD, Scientific Co-Founder, Maureen Lyles D’Ambrogio Professor of Medicine (Hematology) at Stanford University School of Medicine.
  • Michael Rosenblum, MD PhD, Professor of Dermatology and Vice Chair of Research at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF)

Mozart’s Board of Directors:

  • Steven Gillis, PhD, Chairman, ARCH Venture Partners
  • Tom Daniel, MD
  • Peter Dudek, PhD, MRL Ventures Fund
  • Julie Gilmore, PhD, Eli Lilly & Company
  • Lucio Iannone, PhD, Leaps by Bayer
  • Henrijette Richter, Sofinnova Partners

About CD8 Treg Modulators
CD8 Treg Modulators are disease modifying therapeutic molecules that selectively target the CD8 regulatory T cell network to counteract early events in the autoimmune inflammatory cascade. The dysregulation of this network plays a key role in the pathology of autoimmune and inflammatory disease. CD8 Treg modulators are designed to restore the intrinsic functions of CD8 T regulatory cells to suppress and eliminate pathogenic immune cells, providing durable control of autoimmune and other inflammatory diseases.

About Mozart Therapeutics
Mozart Therapeutics is focused on developing disease-modifying therapies for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases that work by targeting a novel regulatory immune pathway.  The therapeutic focus of Mozart’s lead program is autoimmune mediated gastro-intestinal disorders. The company is headquartered in Seattle, WA. For more information visit www.mozart-tx.com and follow the company on LinkedIn @Mozart-tx.

1Saligrama N, Davis MM et al., Nature 2019: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1467-x

SOURCE: Mozart Therapeutics