Catabasis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:CATB), a biopharmaceutical company developing STAR-0215 for the treatment of hereditary angioedema (HAE), today announced its new name, Astria Therapeutics, Inc. (“Astria” or the “Company”). The name Astria originates from the Greek word for star, reflecting the Company’s commitment to having patients serve as guiding stars. Astria’s mission is to bring hope with life-changing therapies to patients and families. Astria expects to begin trading under the new ticker symbol “ATXS” on the Nasdaq Global Select Market at market open on September 9, 2021, and the new website, www.astriatx.com, launched today containing information about STAR-0215, HAE, and a new corporate presentation.
“The name Astria embodies our commitment to put patients first in all that we do,” said Jill C. Milne, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Astria Therapeutics. “Following the acquisition of Quellis earlier this year, our company is focused on tackling the debilitating disease hereditary angioedema, with the broader goal of addressing the unmet needs of patients with rare and niche allergic and immunological diseases. We are advancing STAR-0215 as a differentiated and potentially the most patient-friendly preventative treatment option with dosing once every three months or longer. We are proud to launch Astria Therapeutics and bring our team’s combination of experience, passion, and compassion to our future vision and our commitment to patients and their families.”
Astria’s lead program, STAR-0215 (formerly QLS-215), was named to reflect the goal of having patients at the forefront of Astria’s scientific development. STAR-0215 is currently in preclinical development for the treatment of HAE, a rare genetic disorder characterized by severe, recurrent, unpredictable, painful, and sometimes life-threatening swelling in the face, limbs, abdomen, and airway. Astria is developing STAR-0215 to be a long-acting monoclonal antibody inhibitor of plasma kallikrein, dosed once every 3 months or longer, with the goal of providing the most patient-friendly preventative treatment option for people living with HAE. The company expects to file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for STAR-0215 in mid-2022 and plans to initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial with initial proof of concept results anticipated by year end 2022.
Astria is led by an experienced management team and Board of Directors. The management team was assembled with individuals who have deep expertise in drug discovery and development and commercialization in rare and niche disease areas. The team, led by Jill C. Milne, Ph.D., includes Noah Clauser, Chief Financial Officer, Ben Harshbarger, Chief Legal Officer, Andrew A. Komjathy, Chief Commercial Officer, Andrea Matthews, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Keri McGrail, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, and Andrew Nichols, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer. Astria’s experienced Board of Directors consists of Kenneth Bate, Chair of the Board, Joanne T. Beck, Ph. D., Fred Callori, Hugh M. Cole, Michael D. Kishbauch, Gregg Lapointe, Jill C. Milne, and Jonathan Violin, Ph.D.
Earlier this year, the Company acquired Quellis Biosciences (“Quellis”), and lead program STAR-0215. In conjunction with the acquisition, the Company raised approximately $110 million, before deducting placement agent and other offering expenses, in a private placement to a group of institutional accredited investors led by Perceptive Advisors, with participation from Fairmount Funds Management LLC, RA Capital Management, Cormorant Asset Management, Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, Logos Capital, Boxer Capital, Acorn Bioventures, Commodore Capital, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Acuta Capital Partners, Sphera Healthcare, and Serrado Capital LLC. As of June 30, 2021, Astria had $139.5 million in cash and cash equivalents. Astria expects that it has sufficient cash to fund its current operating plan through 2023. ATXS common stock will trade under the new CUSIP number 04635X102.
About Astria Therapeutics:
Astria Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company, and our mission is to bring life-changing therapies to patients and families affected by rare and niche allergic and immunological diseases. Our lead program, STAR-0215, is a monoclonal antibody inhibitor of plasma kallikrein in preclinical development for the treatment of hereditary angioedema. Learn more about our company on our website, www.astriatx.com, or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AstriaTx and on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Forward Looking Statements:
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws and regulations including, but not limited to, statements regarding: the Company’s projected cash runway; expectations regarding the timing for the filing of an IND and commencement of a Phase 1 clinical trial for STAR-0215, the timing and nature of the initial results from such trial; the potential attributes and differentiated profile of STAR-0215 as a treatment for HAE; the need for effective treatments for HAE; and the Company’s broader goal to meet the unmet needs of patients with rare and niche allergic and immunological diseases. The use of words such as, but not limited to, “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “goals,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “will,” or “would” and similar words expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future performance. Instead, they are based on the Company’s current beliefs, expectations and assumptions regarding the future of its business, future plans and strategies, future financial performance, results of pre-clinical and clinical results of the Company’s product candidates and other future conditions. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including risks and uncertainties: related to the Company’s ability to recognize the anticipated benefits of the Quellis acquisition; changes in applicable laws or regulations; the possibility that the Company may be adversely affected by other economic, business, and/or competitive factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic; risks inherent in pharmaceutical research and development, such as: adverse results in our drug discovery, preclinical and clinical development activities, the risk that the results of pre-clinical studies may not be replicated in clinical studies, the Company’s ability to enroll patients in our clinical trials, and the risk that any of the Company’s clinical trials may not commence, continue or be completed on time, or at all; decisions made by, or feedback received from, the U.S. FDA and other regulatory authorities, investigational review boards at clinical trial sites and other review bodies with respect to STAR-0215 and any future product candidates; the Company’s ability to manufacture sufficient quantities of drug substance and drug product on a cost-effective and timely basis; the Company’s ability to obtain, maintain and enforce intellectual property rights for STAR-0215 and any other future product candidates; competition; the Company’s ability to manage its cash usage and the possibility of unexpected cash expenditures; the Company’s ability to obtain necessary financing to conduct its planned activities and to manage unplanned cash requirements; general economic and market conditions; as well as the risks and uncertainties set forth under the caption “Risk Factors” in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in the Company’s subsequent filings with the SEC. New risks and uncertainties may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible to predict all risks and uncertainties. The Company may not actually achieve the forecasts or expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements, and investors and potential investors should not place undue reliance on the Company’s forward-looking statements. Neither the Company, nor its affiliates, advisors or representatives, undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company’s views as of any date subsequent to the date hereof.