Rare Daily Staff

Perlara, a drug discovery platform company focused on rare diseases, said it closed a $7.4 million equity round of financing.

New investors in the round include Pivotal Capital Alpha, Al-Hamra Group, Radical Investments, Homebrew Ventures, and Haystack Fund. The financing also included investment from existing investors including Y Combinator. Novartis participated in the financing under the terms of its research collaboration with Perlara.

“With this funding we will be able to advance programs forward, discover novel lead compounds for our first three PerlQuest partners, and double our disease pipeline with the launch of six new PerlQuests,” said Perlara founder and CEO Ethan Perlstein.

“PerlQuests” is the term the company uses for its drug discovery collaborations funded directly by patient groups. In exchange for funding, these groups receive joint ownership of the resulting data and inventions.

PerlQuests begin with a natural history study of the disease in model organisms, progress to a drug-repurposing screen, and culminate in a high-throughput drug screening campaign to discover novel compounds suitable for preclinical validation in mice.

“The goal of the PerlQuest model is to democratize venture philanthropy and make it possible for any patient advocacy group anywhere in the world to be equal partners in their own personalized drug discovery journey,” said Perlstein.

November 1, 2017

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