Neuron23 Closes $100 Million Series C Financing Round, Nominates Clinical Candidate for Parkinson’s Disease
SoftBank Group leads round with all original investors participating
Company expects to bring LRRK2 candidate into the clinic for Parkinson’s disease by end of 2022
Valentin Barsan, M.D., and Jim Scopa join Neuron23 board of directors
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 30, 2022 – Neuron23™ Inc., an early-stage biotechnology company focused on developing precision medicines for genetically defined neurological and immunological diseases, today announced it has closed a $100 million Series C financing round led by SoftBank Group, bringing the company’s total financing raised to date to $213.5 million. Neuron23’s original Series A and B investors – Westlake Village BioPartners, Kleiner Perkins, Cowen Healthcare Investments, Acorn Bioventures, HBM Partners, Perceptive Advisors, and Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company) – also participated in the Series C financing round.
Proceeds from the Series C financing will be invested in the company’s lead programs against leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), a gene associated with Parkinson’s disease and systemic inflammatory diseases, and tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2), a JAK family protein that plays a role in pathological immune signaling. The funds will also be used to build Neruron23’s clinical development team, precision neuroimmunology platform, and data sciences capabilities.
“SoftBank’s strong endorsement of Neuron23’s approach to precision neurology is extremely gratifying and exciting to us,” said Nancy Stagliano, Ph.D., CEO of Neuron23. “As exemplified within our LRRK2 Parkinson’s disease program, we intend to identify patients, using state-of-the-art machine learning tools, who are most likely to respond to our therapies, increasing the likelihood of success in the clinic and bringing the right medicines to the right patients. The time is now to innovate in neurodegenerative disease drug development, and I am grateful to SoftBank for their support.”
Neuron23 Nominates NEU-723 as a Clinical Candidate for Parkinson’s Disease
Neuron23 expects to begin clinical trials for NEU-723, a best-in-class brain-penetrant LRRK2 inhibitor indicated for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, by the end of 2022. NEU-723 is a highly potent and selective LRRK2 inhibitor.
LRRK2 is a complex, multidomain protein found in neurons and many other tissues and cell types throughout the body. Variants in the LRRK2 gene are the most common mutations found in inherited Parkinson’s disease, and there is also emerging evidence that LRRK2 activity may play some role in a subset of the larger population of patients with non-familial Parkinson’s. Neuron23 has multiple LRRK2 candidates in its pipeline, including some indicated for the treatment of peripherally restricted disorders.
Neuron23 Adds Valentin (Vali) Barsan, M.D., and Jim Scopa to Board of Directors
Valentin (Vali) Barsan, M.D., a consultant at SoftBank Group and attending pediatric oncology physician at Stanford University School of Medicine, will join the Neuron23 board of directors. At Stanford, Dr. Barsan is focused on developing and translating genomic technologies in oncology to implement personalized therapy and study mechanisms of effective cancer immunity.
“Neuron23 shows tremendous promise in treating genetically defined neurological and immunological diseases for patients with limited therapeutic options,” said Dr. Barsan. “It is incredibly gratifying to invest in a company with a novel approach to developing personalized medicines for genetic disorders. I believe Neuron23 is well-positioned for success for its investors and, much more importantly, patients.”
Dr. Barsan earned his medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine, completed his residency in pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego, and completed his fellowship in pediatric hematology and oncology at Stanford University.
In addition to the appointment of Dr. Barsan, Jim Scopa, a longtime investor in innovative life sciences companies, also joins the Neuron23 board of directors.
Mr. Scopa serves as a board member of several life sciences and venture capital companies, including Dice Molecules, Adverum Biotechnologies, One Ventures, and Blade Therapeutics. From 2005 to 2017, he was managing director of MPM Capital, where he led investments in biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, and diagnostics.
Prior to joining MPM, he spent 18 years in health care investment banking, advising emerging growth companies on public and private financings as well as mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Scopa graduated from Harvard College and has a joint J.D. and MBA from Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School.
Neuron23™ Inc. is an early-stage biotechnology company focused on developing precision medicines for genetically defined neurological and immunological diseases. Neuron23 leverages recent advances in human genetics, combined with their state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled drug discovery and biomarker platforms, to advance therapeutics for devastating diseases. The company’s focus areas are neurodegenerative diseases, neuroinflammatory diseases, and systemic autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Founded in 2018, Neuron23 has assembled a world-class team of experts and entrepreneurs located in South San Francisco, CA. For more information, please visit www.neuron23.com.