Swiss Biotech Raises €16M to Treat Autism Spectrum Disorder

autism spectrum disorder

Stalicla has bagged €16.3M in a Series A round to test drugs repurposed using AI for the treatment of autism spectrum disorder in phase I.

The round consists of a recent €7M (CHF 7.7M) closing and an initial first tranche of €9.3M (CHF 10M) raised last year. The investors in the latest closing were not disclosed, but include European and US private equity investors. 

The Swiss company will use the money to progress its lead candidate treatment for autism spectrum disorder into a phase Ib clinical trial this year. The lead treatment consists of two repurposed drugs and accompanying diagnostic tests that are tailored to a specific population of patients using AI. The money will also fund preclinical testing of Stalicla’s second candidate treatment for a different population of patients with the same condition.

Autism spectrum disorder includes symptoms such as repetitive behavior, as well as poor communication and social skills. While two drugs are approved to treat irritability associated with the condition, they don’t tackle the core symptoms. As clinical trials of ‘one-size-fits-all’ drugs for autism patients have failed in recent years, a growing movement is advocating a much more tailored approach to this diverse condition. 

Stalicla aims to use AI to class autism patients into different patient populations based on their genetics and other clinical data. The company then repurposes existing drugs for these specific groups of patients.

Stalicla is the first-ever precision medicine company in the neurodevelopmental disorder space,” stated Lynn Durham, CEO & Founder of Stalicla. “The proceeds of these financing series will support Stalicla’s sustained operations towards a drastic shift in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders.”

The company’s lead candidate treatment is designed to treat 20% of the patients whose autism comes from an unknown cause. It consists of two undisclosed drugs and two diagnostic tests based on linked biomarkers.

Stalicla’s second candidate treatment for a different population of autism spectrum disorder patients identified by its AI-assisted screening. The company aims to begin developing the treatment later this year.

Image from Shutterstock

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