Biopharma Startup Naurex Inc. Scores $80 Million Series C Financing

Published: Dec 03, 2014

Biopharma Startup Naurex Scores $80 Million Series C Financing

December , 2014

By Krystle Vermes, Breaking News Staff

Illinois-based Naurex Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on drugs for the central nervous system, announced today that it has completed an $80 million Series C round of financing. The money will be used to support ongoing clinical development of its lead compound, GLYX-13, said the company.

New investors who participated in the funding round include Cowen Investments, EcoR1 Capital, Goudy Park Capital, Portola Capital Partners and Sabby Capital. Existing investors including Adams Street Partners and Baxter Ventures also participated in the round.

"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,” said Norvert Riedel, president and chief executive officer of Naurex. “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."

Researchers at Naurex have used their expertise to selectively modulate NMDA receptors to generate a pipeline of compounds that may be beneficial to a number of CNS disorders. Some of the diseases that may be treated with these compounds include depression, traumatic brain injury and neuropathic pain.

GLYX-13, an NMDA receptor modulator, has shown sustained antidepressant effects in testing, and it will soon enter Phase 3 trials for major depressive disorder.

"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."

Naurex announced results from a Phase 2b study of GLYX-13 back in May, and it showed that the drug was well tolerated in patients. Additionally, it sustained an antidepressant effect as an adjunctive therapy in subjects with MDD who had little response to existing anti-depressants. The Phase 3 program for GLYX-13 is expected to begin in 2015.

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