RARE Daily

Noema Pharma Launches with $59 Million to Tackle Rare Neurological Disorders

December 1, 2020

Rare Daily Staff

Swiss biotech Noema Pharma announced the closing of a $59 million (CHF54 million) series A financing round to fund further development of its clinical stage pipeline of therapies to treat orphan neurological disorders.

Sofinnova Partners co-led the series A round along with Polaris Partners, with participation from a global consortium of new international investors including Gilde Healthcare, Invus, and BioMed Partners. Swiss biopharmaceutical Roche received a shareholding in Noema in exchange for rights to four clinical stage product candidates.

Formed in 2019 with a seed investment from Sofinnova Partners, Noema has been leveraging the latest scientific discoveries in neuroscience to identify and pursue promising new indications, and to elaborate a strategy around the four product candidates it licensed from Roche. Roche was planning to shelve these candidates when George Garibaldi, former Roche head of neuroscience product development and chief medical officer of Noema, decided he wanted to acquire them and develop them for rare indications.

“The strong clinical and preclinical safety packages generated at Roche will enable us to swiftly pursue a series of clinical programs in orphan CNS indications,” said Garibaldi. “Our analyses, based on new scientific evidence, have led us to indications upon which we have been building new intellectual property and efficient development and regulatory strategies. Across all our clinical initiatives, we focus on partnering with patients and patient associations to gather their input on what matters to them.”

The product candidates will be developed in neurological indications with severe unmet need, such as seizures in tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a rare genetic disorder that causes non-cancerous tumors to grow throughout the body; trigeminal neuralgia, a nerve disorder that causes a stabbing or electric-shock-like pain in parts of the face; Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics; and other rare neurological disorders.

Lead product NOE-101, an mGluR5 inhibitor, is phase 2b-ready for two indications: persistent seizures in TSC and severe pain in trigeminal neuralgia. NOE-105, a PDE10A inhibitor, is in preparation for phase 2b testing to treat Tourette syndrome. The company is undertaking validation studies in undisclosed indications for two additional clinical-stage assets, NOE-109, an mGluR2/3 inhibitor, and NOE-115, a triple re-uptake inhibitor.

“The successful licensing of these exciting clinical-stage product-candidates from Roche, together with our up-sized CHF54 million series A financing, will enable Noema to reach value-creating development milestones with all four products” said Luigi Costa, CEO of Noema. We are now in a solid position to continue advancing these potentially life-changing therapeutics for patients who have no satisfactory treatment options.”

Photo: Luigi Costa, CEO of Noema




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