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Axial Biotherapeutics Announces $10M Investment from Taiho Ventures to Access Axial’s Expertise in the Gut-Brain Axis

$10M investment as Series B extension, bringing total amount raised to $35M

Direct investment for the discovery of gut targeted, small molecule therapeutics in oncology utilizing Axial’s novel platform technology

WALTHAM, Mass., June 20, 2019 – Axial Biotherapeutics, a biotechnology company dedicated to building a unique class of gut-targeted therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases and neurodevelopmental disorders, today announced a direct investment of $10 million from Taiho Ventures, LLC to fund the discovery and development of novel gut-targeted, small molecule approaches in oncology.

“Axial has built, and continues to build, an exciting and innovative discovery platform that targets the gut-brain axis but we also believe that additional diseases and disorders outside of CNS can stem from the gut microbiome,” said David H. Donabedian, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Axial Biotherapeutics. “We are pleased that Taiho Ventures sees the potential of this discovery platform, and we are honored to have their support as we look to progress the breadth and depth of our scientific platform. Just as we have done with the CNS space, we look to reshaping the scientific understanding of oncology with gut-targeted therapies.”

“We are excited to partner with Axial as we see astounding potential in its platform approach to drug development beyond CNS indications. As such, we are eager to work with the team to identify therapeutic interventions harnessing the gut-brain axis where the company’s novel technology can be applied,” said Sakae Asanuma, President, Taiho Ventures, LLC. “We look forward to supporting David and the Axial team.”
As part of this investment, Sakae Asanuma will be joining the Axial Board.

The $10 million investment from Taiho Ventures is an extension of Axial’s previously closed Series B round in February 2019. With this investment, Axial has raised a total of $35 million in its Series B financing. In conjunction with this investment, Axial will maintain control of the new oncology programs and Taiho Ventures will have a first right to negotiate for an exclusive license related to the new programs. Axial retains all of its rights to its existing CNS programs.

About Axial Therapeutics

Axial Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of gut-restricted, small molecule therapeutics for central nervous system (CNS) disorders. The company is leveraging its expertise in the gut-brain axis and its unique drug development platform to advance novel therapies that have the potential to transform the treatment paradigm in neurological diseases. Axial is advancing a pipeline of small molecule product candidates with lead clinical programs that address underlying pathology and resulting symptoms in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Parkinson’s Disease (PD), and additional preclinical initiatives in small molecules in other areas of autism and PD, as well as oncology and rare CNS diseases.

About Taiho Ventures, LLC

Taiho Ventures, LLC is the corporate venture capital arm of Taiho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a Japanese
specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on oncology, allergy and immunology, and urology. Taiho
Ventures is a newly established strategic investor looking at early stage preclinical oncology companies
as well as platform technology companies for our core therapeutic areas. We will review the wide
variety of modalities (both biologics and small molecules) and opportunities mainly in US and Europe.
We will also consider the option-type of investments and spin-outs, in addition to pure equity

Contacts for Axial Therapeutics


Mike Beyer
Sam Brown, Inc.


Jeffrey Young, CFO

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