Naurex Inc, a U.S.-based biopharmaceutical company that develops novel drugs for diseases of the central nervous system, has closed a US$80 million Series C financing. Investors in the round included existing backer Genesys Capital, a Canadian life sciences venture capital firm. Adams Street Partners, Baxter Ventures, Druid BioVentures, Latterell Venture Partners, PathoCapital and Savitr Capital were among the other investors. Naurex, which is headquartered in Evanston, Illinois, said the deal’s proceeds will support the ongoing clinical development of its lead compounds, including GLYX-13, which treats major depressive disorder.
Naurex Raises $80 Million in Series C Financing to Advance Novel NMDA Receptor Modulators in Depression and Other CNS Disorders
Follows Positive Phase 2 Data Showing Rapid, Robust and Sustained Antidepressant Effect of Adjunctive GLYX-13 in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder
EVANSTON, Ill., Dec. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Naurex Inc., a biopharmaceutical company leveraging its unique platform to develop novel drugs for diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), today announced the completion of an $80 million Series C financing round.
New investors participating in the round include Cowen Investments, EcoR1 Capital, Goudy Park Capital, Portola Capital Partners and Sabby Capital. Existing investors also participated in the round, including Adams Street Partners, Baxter Ventures, Druid BioVentures, Genesys Capital, H. Lundbeck A/S, Latterell Venture Partners, Northwestern University, PathoCapital, Savitr Capital and Takeda Ventures.
The proceeds will be used to support the ongoing clinical development of lead compound GLYX-13, a novel NMDA receptor modulator that will soon enter Phase 3 trials for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), and second-generation compound NRX-1074, an oral agent in Phase 2 for MDD. In clinical proof-of-concept studies, GLYX-13 was well-tolerated and demonstrated rapid, robust and sustained antidepressant effects. NRX-1074 has also shown promising signs of efficacy in preclinical studies and tolerability in early clinical studies.
Naurex scientists are applying their expertise in selectively modulating the NMDA receptor to generate a diverse pipeline of first-in-class compounds that may be beneficial in a variety of CNS disorders, including depression, traumatic brain injury and neuropathic pain. The financing will also support development activities for these agents that leverage the NMDA receptor’s unique ability to enhance synaptic plasticity and correct dysfunctions in the way that neural cells communicate.
“The tremendous unmet need and lack of novel approaches to treating CNS disorders provide an opportunity for a truly transformative technology to make an impact across a number of diseases,” said Oleg Nodelman, founder and managing director of EcoR1 Capital. “With convincing clinical data from its lead antidepressant program, and the tools and leadership to apply this approach in other indications, we believe that Naurex is well-positioned to change the treatment of CNS disorders.”
Norbert Riedel, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Naurex, added, “Our company was established to develop therapeutics that precisely modulate the NMDA receptor to normalize and even enhance neuronal communication, thereby correcting the dysfunction that is at the root of many CNS disorders. With the proceeds from this financing, we can advance our ongoing applications of this promising technology. This includes supporting our highly differentiated clinical programs in depression and bringing new treatments forward that address other diseases and disorders of the CNS.”
In May, Naurex announced top-line results from its Phase 2b study of GLYX-13, which showed the drug was well-tolerated and had a robust and sustained antidepressant effect as an adjunctive therapy in subjects with MDD who had inadequate responses to their existing anti-depressants. Naurex plans to present further data from this study at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in December. Naurex has completed an end-of-Phase 2 meeting with the FDA and is proceeding with the GLYX-13 Phase 3 program, expected to begin in 2015.
About Naurex Inc.
Naurex is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing transformative therapies for challenging disorders of the central nervous system. The company has built a platform for discovering drugs that enhance synaptic plasticity, or strengthen the network for neural cell communication. Molecules discovered by Naurex achieve this through a novel mechanism that modulates the NMDA receptor – rather than shutting it down – resulting in drugs that are both highly effective and well-tolerated. Naurex’s lead molecule, GLYX-13, has demonstrated rapid, robust and sustained efficacy in multiple Phase 2 clinical studies in depression, an area of high unmet need that has seen little innovation in decades. NRX-1074, a next-generation, orally bioavailable drug candidate, is in Phase 2 clinical development in depression. Naurex’s platform has yielded a rich pipeline of subtype-selective NMDA receptor modulators with the potential to treat a broad set of psychiatric and neurologic disorders.
Vice President, Corporate Development
SOURCE Naurex Inc.
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