MODAG, out of Stealth, Raises $13.6 Million for MSA Drug

June 27, 2019

MODAG, which is developing a treatment for a rare form of Parkinsonism known as multiple system atrophy, emerged from stealth as it said it completed a $13.6 million series A financing round.

Massa Investment led the round and Jeff Putman of Massa Investment will join the company’s board.

The company was founded in 2013 based on research from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry on protein aggregation and its toxic properties in neurodegenerative diseases to develop therapeutic options for conditions without available disease-modifying treatments.

Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a rare neurological disorder characterized by neurodegeneration in several parts of the brain including the basal ganglia and the cerebellum. It is characterized by a build-up of pathologically aggregated alpha-synuclein proteins in neuronal and glial cells. Patients experience an array of symptoms, including movement, balance, and autonomic function disorders. Current drugs do not address the cause of the disease and are only capable of treating symptoms which progress alongside the disease. Onset of the disease occurs late in life with mean survival from onset being six to 10 years.

The company’s lead therapeutic candidate Anle138b is a small molecule compound that binds to toxic protein in Parkinsonian disorders and prevents new formation of additional toxic materials. Initial pre-clinical studies in Parkinson’s and MSA animal models have demonstrated the ability to halt disease progression and alleviate symptoms in vivo, effectively preventing the disease from causing further damage by stopping the accumulation of pathological protein aggregates in the brain.

MODAG named Torsten Matthias as CEO. He brings two decades of experience in entrepreneurship and operations management. It also named Armin Giese as chief scientific officer. Giese is a leading expert in the field of neuropathology and has more than 20 years of scientific expertise in the neurodegenerative disease space.

“Although MSA is considered a rare disease, being able to halt its progression would have significant implications for many neurodegenerative diseases that currently have no treatment, but cumulatively affect the lives of countless patients,” said Matthias. “In combination with the funding and the exclusive license for the SERY technology [in-licensed from Max-Planck Innovation], we are in a prime position to provide innovative solutions for a disease which has long been neglected.”

Photo: Torsten Matthias, CEO of MODAG

Author: Rare Daily Staff

Stay Connected

Sign up for updates straight to your inbox.