QurAlis Raises $88 Million to Advance Precision Medicines for Neurodegenerative Diseases
March 9, 2023
Rare Daily Staff
QurAlis Corporation, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing breakthrough precision medicines for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases with genetically validated targets, has closed an oversubscribed $88 million series B financing, bringing the total funds raised to $143.5 million.
EQT Life Sciences, Sanofi Ventures, and Droia Ventures led the financing, with participation from the ALS Investment Fund and existing investors LS Polaris Innovation Fund, Mission BioCapital, INKEF Capital, Dementia Discovery Fund, Amgen Ventures, MP Healthcare Venture Management, Mitsui Global Investment, Dolby Family Ventures, Mission Bay Capital, and Sanford Biosciences.
QurAlis will use proceeds from the financing to fund clinical development of QRL-201 and QRL-101, the company’s lead product candidates in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In addition, the financing will support ongoing and planned research, as well as the advancement of QurAlis’ pipeline with therapeutic candidates that target specific components of ALS and genetically related frontotemporal dementia pathology and defined ALS patient populations based on both disease-causing genetic mutations and clinical biomarkers.
“This financing round recognizes our scientific track record and will help us advance the clinical development of our two lead programs in ALS and robust pipeline through near-term value-creating milestones,” said Kasper Roet, CEO and co-founder of QurAlis. “We are breaking through the barriers of science in our quest to bring much-needed precision therapies to patients.”
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease impacting nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, reducing muscle function and control. ALS can be traced to mutations in more than 25 different genes and is often caused by a combination of multiple sub-forms of the condition. Cases usually cannot be predicted, although a small percentage are inherited. ALS has a devastating impact on patients and families. ALS patients’ average life expectancy is three years, and there is currently no cure for the disease.
QRL-201 is a first-in-class therapeutic product candidate aiming to restore STMN2 expression in ALS patients. STMN2 is a well-validated protein important for neural repair and axonal stability, the expression of which is significantly decreased in nearly all ALS patients. QRL-201 rescues STMN2 loss of function in QurAlis ALS patient-derived motor neuron disease models in the presence of TDP-43 pathology. QRL-201 recently entered the clinic in the first-ever clinical trial to evaluate a therapy that rescues STMN2 in people with ALS.
QRL-201 is the second program in QurAlis’ pipeline to enter the clinic recently. In December 2022, QurAlis announced the company-initiated dosing of QRL-101 in a first-in-human phase 1 clinical trial. QRL-101 is a first-in-class selective Kv7.2/7.3 ion channel opener for the treatment of hyperexcitability-induced disease progression in ALS.
Photo: Kasper Roet, CEO and co-founder of QurAlis
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