Aeovian Pharmaceuticals: $50 Million Raised To Develop Selective Therapeutics For Restoring Cellular Metabolic Quality Control

By Amit Chowdhry • Apr 2, 2024

Aeovian Pharmaceuticals – a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel and highly selective therapeutics that potently inhibit the mTORC1 pathway – announced that it dosed the first cohort of participants in a Phase 1 clinical trial for its lead development candidate AV078, a first-in-class CNS penetrant selective mTORC1 inhibitor. The company also recently completed a $50 million financing led by Hevolution. Hevolution was joined by existing investors Apollo Health Ventures, Sofinnova Investments, venBio, Evotec, and b2venture.

This funding will support the completion of the Phase 1 clinical trial in healthy volunteers and prepare for the start of a subsequent Phase 2 clinical trial in adult and pediatric patients with TSC refractory epilepsy. And the company has also expanded its leadership team by appointing seasoned industry veterans William Greene, M.D. (Chief Investment Officer at Hevolution) and Justin Gover (former Chief Executive Officer of GW Pharmaceuticals) to its Board of Directors and Micah Zajic as Chief Financial Officer.

Dr. Greene brings 25+ years of experience in leadership positions, including founder, biotechnology executive, investor, and clinician. As CEO, he built and led Iconic Therapeutics through discovery, clinical development, and venture financing, culminating in a successful company sale. Dr. Greene spent 12 years at MPM Capital as a Managing Director and member of its Investment Committee, responsible for biotechnology and medical technology investments worldwide. He was also the founding Chairman and head of the Investment Committee at the Global Health Investment Fund, a groundbreaking impact-oriented venture fund in collaboration with the Gates Foundation, which successfully scaled both investment returns and health impact simultaneously. Dr. Greene earned his BA from Wesleyan University and his MD from UCSF. And he was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Yale and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholar at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Gover has 25 years of experience in leadership positions in the biotechnology industry. And Gover served as founding CEO and director of GW Pharmaceuticals plc from its inception in 1999 until its sale to Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc for $7.2 billion in 2021. Between 2018 and 2021, Gover served on the Board of Directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). Gover serves on the Board of Directors for Xenon Pharmaceuticals, CURE Epilepsy, and Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine. Gover holds an M.B.A. from the INSEAD business school in France and a B.Sc. (Hons) from Bristol University, UK.

Micah Zajic has been appointed Chief Financial Officer at Aeovian. Zajic brings nearly 20 years of experience in biotech corporate development, healthcare capital markets and investment banking to the company. Zajic most recently served as Chief Business Officer and Chief Financial Officer at LEXEO Therapeutics. Before that, he served as Chief Financial Officer of SQZ Biotechnologies. He started his career at Morgan Stanley in the Global Capital Markets and Healthcare Investment Banking Groups, raising capital and executing strategic transactions for companies across the healthcare industry. Plus, Zajic worked in corporate development roles at Alexion Pharmaceuticals and MeiraGTx, focusing on the evaluation and execution of external partnerships, license agreements, and acquisitions.


“We are delighted to partner with Aeovian’s management team and current investors, who have proven track records of success in drug discovery, development, and commercialization. Aeovian has assembled a compelling platform for the development of selective mTORC1 inhibitors. By developing novel small molecules to restore cellular metabolic quality control, Aeovian has several opportunities to address major unmet medical needs for indications spanning orphan neurological diseases to highly prevalent diseases of aging.”

– Dr. Greene, CIO at Hevolution

“TSC is a genetic disorder of mTORC1 hyperactivation. We believe that our first-in-class CNS penetrant selective mTORC1 inhibitor, AV078, has the potential to be transformative for patients with TSC refractory epilepsy, a patient population in need of therapeutic options with better efficacy and tolerability. Beyond AV078, we believe that there is vast potential for our library of proprietary compounds in treating mTORC1-mediated rare and age-related diseases. The entire Aeovian team welcomes Hevolution, and is thankful for the continued support and commitment of our existing investors as we move to this next exciting stage of the company’s development.”

– Allison Hulme, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Aeovian Pharmaceuticals

“I am delighted to be joining the Aeovian Board at this exciting time as the company enters the clinic. I have a deep commitment to the epilepsy community and to patients with TSC and believe that AV078 has the potential to be a valuable new treatment option for this high need population. I am impressed by the breadth of potential applications for Aeovian’s science and by the caliber of the Aeovian team and look forward to contributing to the company’s future.”

– Justin Gover

“On behalf of our Board of Directors, I am delighted to welcome William and Justin to our Board as they bring diverse and relevant experience from various leadership roles within the biotechnology industry and we look forward to their contributions as we navigate the company’s next phase of growth.”

– Richard Gaster, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of the Aeovian Board of Directors