Augustine Therapeutics was founded in 2019 as a spin-off of VIB and KU Leuven. Based on the groundbreaking neurological research of Prof. Ludo Van Den Bosch, Prof. Joris De Wit and Prof. Bart De Strooper, this early drug discovery company is building a portfolio of first-in-class therapies for rare neuromuscular diseases and neurodegenerative disorders. Augustine Therapeutics’ approach is based on new insights into the neuroprotective potential of small-molecule HDAC6 inhibitors.
HDAC6 was identified by Prof. Ludo Van Den Bosch and his research group a decade ago as a potential therapeutic target for Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease. Our research aims to deepen our understanding of CMT biology and characterize the potential protective action of HDAC6 inhibitors at the neuronal and axonal level.
Augustine Therapeutics is supported by experienced scientists and drug developers from major pharma and biotech companies and is backed by V-Bio Ventures, PMV, AdBio Partners, VIB New Venture and Gemma Frisius Fund. Together, these investors contributed around € 8 million seed funding since the company inception in 2019. Our research is also well funded by Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) and the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Research Foundation (CMTRF), a US-based patient advocacy group.
The name of the company is inspired by a famous patient of the French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot. Charcot and two other doctors were the first to identify a hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy of the peripheral nervous system that would eventually be named Charcot–Marie–Tooth (CMT) disease. CMT disease often becomes evident in young adulthood, with notable muscle weakness and loss of sensation, often accompanied by severe pain. The disease has a devastating impact on the quality of life of patients. Unfortunately, no approved therapies yet exist to treat it. Our mission is to discover innovative medicines that will transform the lives of patients suffering from complex neurological disorders, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
Learn more about Rob's story and the founding of Augustine in this great VIB’s article.
Robert Prior, a former PhD student at VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research; is currently a Postdoc at UKB, University of Bonn, Germany
"As a patient, working in the Van Den Bosch lab and seeing the genesis of Augustine Therapeutics has been very special for me. It focuses on a currently untreatable disease that unfortunately runs in my family. I know the future is bright for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease" says Rob Prior, PhD student in the Ludo Van Den Bosch lab at the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research.
Prof. Ludo Van Den Bosch, Group leader at the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research
"This lab's pioneering research into Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is what led to the creation of Augustine Therapeutics. From lab to the clinic, we're working hard to develop a CMT therapy to help people like Rob and his family!"