Myrobalan Claims $24M for Portfolio of Neurorestorative Drugs

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Myrobalan Therapeutics announced the closing Wednesday of a $24 million Series A financing round to drive its portfolio targeting neurodegenerative diseases into the clinic.  

The Massachusettsbased startup will use the funds to support the development of its oral small molecule drugs it claims have neurorestorative properties, including a GPR17 antagonist that could promote the remyelination of neurons, as well as a CSF1R inhibitor that could target the demyelination process and neuroinflammation.

The biotech is also advancing an allosteric TYK2 inhibitor designed to reduce neuroinflammation.

In an interview with Endpoints News, Myrobalan co-founder and CEO Jing Wang said the company is currently in Investigational New Drug-enabling studies and will use its Series A haul to push these assets into the clinic.

“Propelled by our foundational science, strategic chemistry partnership, compelling preclinical data and strong investors, Myrobalan is in a unique position to advance its neurorestorative candidates into the clinic,” Jing said in a prepared statement. 

Myrobalan’s approach to drug development is to target “critical mechanisms” that are shared across different neurological diseases, thereby producing medicines with “broad utility,” according to its website. In particular, the biotech has chosen to focus on remyelination, synaptic modulation and countering neuroinflammation.

The company has yet to settle on a lead target, but indicated in its news release that its assets could “address a broad range of neurological conditions,” including Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis. Its candidates are also highly selective against their targets and can efficiently penetrate the blood-brain barrier, according to the announcement.

Myrobalan’s Series A was led by Co-win Ventures. Guan Zi Equity Investment, 3E Bioventures Capital and AB Magnitude Ventures Group also participated.

Wednesday’s funding round is the latest development in the dynamic neurology space, which in recent months has seen high levels of dealmaking activity.

In early December 2023, for instance, AbbVie put forth $8.7 billion to acquire Cerevel Therapeutics and its portfolio of investigational assets, being developed for various psychiatric and neurological indications.

A few weeks later, BMS acquired Karuna Therapeutics for $14 billion, giving it access to KarXT (xanomeline-trospium), Karuna’s investigational muscarinic antipsychotic in development for schizophrenia and psychosis in Alzheimer’s disease.

Tristan Manalac is an independent science writer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. He can be reached at tristan@tristanmanalac.com or tristan.manalac@biospace.com.

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