Boston, MA – February 13, 2023 – Cerevance, a private, clinical-stage drug discovery and development company focused on developing novel therapeutics for central nervous system (CNS) diseases using the company’s proprietary Nuclear Enriched Transcript Sort sequencing (NETSseq) platform, today announced an expansion of its Series B funding round with an additional close of $51 million, bringing the total Series B financing to $116 million. The financing will support upcoming clinical trials focused on Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and schizophrenia.
“We are thrilled to secure additional funding from world-class investors who strongly support the need for novel therapies to treat neurological diseases,” said Craig Thompson, chief executive officer of Cerevance. “We are well positioned to continue to advance our clinical and pre-clinical programs and proprietary NETSseq platform. With this financing, we expect to reach several key clinical milestones across multiple disease areas with unmet needs.”
Cerevance has a growing pipeline of clinical and preclinical programs developed using the company’s proprietary NETSseq platform to discover and validate novel therapeutic targets in some of the most challenging neurological diseases. Recent and upcoming milestones include:
- CVN424, a first-in-class, oral, brain penetrant, non-dopaminergic, GPR6 inverse agonist demonstrated safety and efficacy in reducing OFF time as an adjunctive therapy with levodopa in patients with Parkinson’s disease in a Phase 2 study. The company plans to initiate a Phase 2 proof of concept study assessing CVN424 as a monotherapy treatment in patients with newly diagnosed Parkinson’s disease not yet treated with levodopa in Q2 2023.
- CVN766, a potent antagonist of the orexin 1 receptor with high selectivity over the orexin 2 receptor (>1000 fold), recently demonstrated positive Phase 1 data. CVN766 was well tolerated with an excellent safety profile and unlike most orexin receptor antagonists, resulted in no evidence of somnolence. A Phase 2 study evaluating CVN766 as a potential treatment for the negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia is planned for Q4 2023.
- CVN293, a blocker of KCNK13, a recently discovered novel target that is selectively expressed in brain microglia, dampens maladaptive central neuroinflammation associated with many neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS and Alzheimer’s disease. A Phase 1 study assessing CVN293 is planned for Q3 2023.
The company’s earlier-stage pipeline includes multiple first-in-class programs in preclinical development, discovered using the proprietary NETSseq platform to identify highly selectively expressed, novel target proteins that are either specific to certain brain circuits or are over- or under-expressed in diseased brains. Cerevance also has a multi-year strategic research collaboration with Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, to identify novel targets for Alzheimer’s disease utilizing the NETSseq platform. Cerevance has simultaneously out-licensed one discovery-stage program to Merck as part of the collaboration. In addition, Cerevance also has a research collaboration with Takeda to identify novel target proteins expressed in the CNS to develop new therapies for certain GI disorders.
The additional financing announced today includes participation from Gates Frontier, Dementia Discovery Fund, Foresite Capital, GV (Google Ventures), Lightstone Ventures, Takeda Ventures, UPMC Enterprises and Dolby Family Ventures.
Cerevance is a private pharmaceutical company with a focus on CNS disorders. CVN424, Cerevance’s lead therapeutic, is a first-in-class, oral, non-dopaminergic compound acting on a novel target (GPR6), that demonstrated significant and clinically meaningful efficacy in a 135-patient Phase 2 study in patients with Parkinson’s disease. The company uses its proprietary Nuclear Enriched Transcript Sort sequencing (NETSseq) platform to identify highly selectively expressed, novel target proteins that are either specific to certain brain circuits or are over- or under-expressed in diseased brains. Partnering with over 25 brain banks and evaluating an expanding collection of more than 12,000 human post-mortem brain tissue samples, Cerevance is advancing a robust pipeline of targeted treatments for patients with neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
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