RARE Daily

Nura Bio Launches to Focus on Neuroprotective Drugs with $73 Million Financing

July 29, 2020

Nura Bio, which was created to discover and develop neuroprotective drugs, said it closed a $73 million series A round of financing and named industry veteran Alpna Seth as president and CEO.

The Column Group led the company’s $73 million Series A round of financing as part of a syndicate together with Samsara BioCapital and Euclidean Capital.

Nura Bio seeks to alter the course of neurological disease by targeting the fundamental pathways underlying axon degeneration and neuroimmune regulation to preserve neuronal integrity. The company’s research and development strategy is currently centered on two approaches: prevention of neuronal loss to preserve neurological function; and restoring the function of the neuron-glia axis to improve the nervous system’s immune surveillance capacity in response to neurological injury.

The company’s discovery engine and expanded multi-target pipeline spans both of these approaches and is well positioned to address a broad range of neurological diseases.

“The enormity of unmet need for people affected by neurodegenerative diseases is staggering,” said Nura’s Seth. “Nura Bio’s groundbreaking science, talented team, and experienced investor partners bring together the perfect balance to build a leading neuroscience company dedicated to transforming the lives of millions of people affected by neurological diseases.”

Nura Bio was conceived in 2018 by The Column Group and scientific founders Marc Freeman and Steven McKnight with the early pipeline fueled by breakthroughs elucidating the molecular mechanism underlying Wallerian (axonal) degeneration, an early hallmark of neurological diseases. The company’s lead program is focused on the NAD hydrolase SARM1 that was first discovered as a potent, axon-death factor in Freeman’s lab.

“The Column Group is excited by the compelling scientific basis and potential of Nura Bio’s emerging neuroprotective drug pipeline to revolutionize the treatment of neurological diseases,” said Tim Kutzkey, PhD, founding member and Chair of Nura Bio’s Board of Directors. “We are fortunate to have Alpna at the helm, bringing proven experience in building and leading successful teams and businesses from the ground up across therapeutic areas and modalities. With Alpna’s leadership, Nura Bio’s exceptional team is pushing the boundaries of a new frontier in neuroscience, accelerating the progress of our discovery engine.”

Seth brings 25 years of diverse biotech industry experience leading drug-development, commercialization and business creation. Prior to joining Nura Bio, Seth was chief operating officer of Vir Biotechnology.  Seth worked at Biogen for two decades in senior executive roles based in the United States, Europe and Asia. Most recently she was senior vice president and global head of Biogen’s Biosimilars Business Unit, where she led the creation and launch of the business with nearly $400 million in annual revenues. She holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and conducted her postdoctoral research in Immunology and Structural Biology at Harvard University, both as a Fellow of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She is also a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. In addition to Nura Bio, she serves on the boards of Seattle Genetics and Bio Techne. 

The company’s board of directors includes Tim Kutzkey, managing partner of The Column Group (Chair); Cory Freedland, Principal of Samsara BioCapital; Dave Goeddel, managing partner of The Column Group; Mark Goldsmith, founding president and CEO of Revolution Medicines; Sanjay Keswani, executive vice president & CMO of Annexon Biosciences; and Nura’s Seth.

Photo: Alpna Seth as president and CEO

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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