Rare Daily Staff
Neurona Therapeutics, a company developing neural cell therapies for the treatment of chronic neurological disorders, completed a $41.5 million financing that will be used to advance the company’s pipeline of off-the-shelf cell therapies for multiple neurological disorders.
New investor UCB Ventures and current investor The Column Group co-led the financing, which included other new investors Sphera Fund Management, Alexandria Venture Investments, and Ironfire Ventures.
Neurona is using its regenerative platform to develop neuronal, glial, and gene-edited cell therapy candidates that the company says have single-dose curative potential for long-term repair of dysfunctional neural networks for multiple neurological disorders.
The company’s lead candidate, NRTX-1001, is an inhibitory neuronal cell therapeutic, for the treatment of chronic focal epilepsy. NRTX-1001 is derived from human pluripotent stem cells and comprises interneurons that secrete the inhibitory neurotransmitter, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Delivered as a one-time administration, the interneurons integrate and innervate on-target, providing local long-term GABAergic inhibition to rebalance and repair hyperexcitable neural networks that underlie epilepsy as well as other disorders of the nervous system. Neurona is initially advancing NRTX-1001 for temporal lobe epilepsy, which is the most common type of focal epilepsy.
“This funding will support the advancement of our lead candidate, NRTX-1001, into a first-in-human clinical trial we hope to initiate this year for chronic focal-onset epilepsy, an important step toward our ultimate goal of providing safe and effective cell therapies for the treatment of devastating, drug-resistant neurological disorders,” said Cory Nicholas, president and CEO of Neurona.
Neurona also announced that Erica Whittaker, head of UCB Ventures, has joined Neurona’s board of directors. Whittaker began her career at UCB in 2010 and has led UCB Ventures since its inception. analyst for Merrill Lynch in London. She has a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an MBA.
“We see cell therapy as a promising approach for chronic disorders of the nervous system for which current treatment options are not optimal. Neurona has pioneered a novel inhibitory neuron cell therapy candidate and generated compelling preclinical efficacy data,” said Whittaker.
Photo: Cory Nicholas, president and CEO of Neurona