RARE Daily

Arena Pharma Launches Longboard with $56 Million to Develop Rare Neurological Disease Therapies

October 28, 2020

Rare Daily Staff

Arena Pharmaceuticals has spun out its Arena Neuroscience division into a new independent company, Longboard Pharmaceuticals and raised $56 million to develop therapies for rare neurological diseases.

Longboard is focused on developing novel central nervous system-targeted assets discovered by Arena’s validated G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) research engine.  Proceeds from the financing will be used to support the development of LP352, a clinical stage program for treatment-resistant developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEE), and preclinical programs relating to LP143 and LP659 for the potential treatment of microglial neuroinflammatory diseases.

“We are focused on advancing these compounds with the goal of helping underserved patients living with devastating neurological conditions,” said Kevin Lind, president and CEO of Longboard.

Farallon Capital Management, Cormorant Asset Management, HBM Healthcare Investments, Highside Capital Management, and T. Rowe Price Associates led the financing with participation from Arena. Arena Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer Vincent Aurentz, and Arena Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Laurie Stelzer, will serve on Longboard’s Board of Directors.

“When the new leadership team joined Arena in 2016, we realized the promise of the assets that were discovered and optimized over decades of world-class GPCR research. Our goal has been to maximize the value of the pipeline for shareholders, and more importantly to deliver potentially life-changing medicines to patients suffering from grievous illnesses,” said Amit Munshi, president and CEO of Arena. “With the launch of Longboard, we believe these compounds will receive the focus they deserve, and Arena shareholders will continue to participate in the value of these assets via Arena’s equity position in the new company and future royalty streams.”

Photo: Kevin Lind, president and CEO of Longboard

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