Cerevel Therapeutics and Herophilus Announce Collaboration to Evaluate Novel Neuroimmune Modulating Therapeutic Strategies for Schizophrenia

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cerevel Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CERE), a company dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of the brain to treat neuroscience diseases, and Herophilus, a leading biotechnology company developing neurotherapeutics to cure complex brain diseases, today announced a phased multi-year, joint research collaboration in neuropsychiatry. The collaboration integrates the deep expertise in neuroscience drug discovery at Cerevel Therapeutics with state-of-the-art disease models and the AI-enabled deep phenotyping from Herophilus.

Herophilus’ proprietary neuroimmune patient-derived brain organoids and neuroimmune genetically engineered brain organoids are designed to overcome the limitations of traditional animal models by incorporating human-specific genes with known relevance to schizophrenia. Leveraging these advanced in vitro humanized systems enables the potential discovery, evaluation, and prioritization of novel therapeutic strategies that may be missed through standard approaches.

“Research and development for neuroscience diseases is difficult, and schizophrenia in particular can be incredibly challenging to address due to the variable components of the disease such as positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms,” said John Renger, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at Cerevel Therapeutics. “The science and cutting-edge approach that this collaboration brings to the table has the potential to reveal core mechanisms of schizophrenia and disease-modifying approaches to treat it. Utilizing Herophilus’ innovative models is one of the many ways we are creating a prolific neuroscience drug discovery and development engine at Cerevel Therapeutics.”

Phil Iredale, Ph.D., head of biology at Cerevel Therapeutics added, “Increasing our confidence in the translatability of preclinical models is a primary concern of neuroscience research. The potential to incorporate human genetics into a reproducible and scalable in vitro system, that emulates some of the complex synaptic biology of the brain, provides an attractive platform for novel target discovery. We are looking forward to working together with Herophilus to advance new and much-needed breakthroughs in treatments for schizophrenia.”

The therapeutic strategies pursued under this collaboration are novel and are designed to enable the development of therapies with the potential to improve or reverse several aspects of schizophrenia. The multi-modal deep phenotyping approach from Herophilus applies advanced, large-scale data analytics with high-dimensional phenotypic datasets to create a comprehensive systems biology approach that may lead to the identification of therapeutic candidates with disease-modifying potential.

“Our innovative approach at Herophilus is designed to capture the relevant biology that traditional models of schizophrenia have previously been unable to address, allowing us to now ask the most critical questions about the disease,” said Saul Kato Ph.D., chief executive officer at Herophilus. “We are pleased to collaborate with Cerevel to leverage the power and uniqueness of our rich disease models and systems biology approaches in a new era of drug discovery for the most complex brain diseases.”

Sharath Hegde PhD., chief scientific officer at Herophilus added, “This collaboration is a powerful opportunity to apply our sophisticated brain organoid discovery engine towards the discovery of paradigm-shifting therapeutics that may revolutionize how schizophrenia is treated in the future.”

About Cerevel Therapeutics

Cerevel Therapeutics is dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of the brain to treat neuroscience diseases. The company is tackling diseases with a targeted approach to neuroscience that combines expertise in neurocircuitry with a focus on receptor selectivity. Cerevel Therapeutics has a diversified pipeline comprising six clinical-stage investigational therapies and several pre-clinical compounds with the potential to treat a range of neuroscience diseases, including Parkinson’s, epilepsy, schizophrenia, and substance use disorder. Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Cerevel Therapeutics is advancing its current research and development programs while exploring new modalities through internal research efforts, external collaborations, or potential acquisitions. For more information, visitwww.cerevel.com.

About Herophilus

Herophilus is a San Francisco-based neurotherapeutics company focused on curing complex brain diseases. The company’s platform combines brain organoid science, systems neuroscience approaches, robotic automation, and advanced machine learning techniques to scale the ability to discover novel drugs for complex neurological and psychiatric diseases. In an industry-first approach, the company employs multi-modal phenotypic screening to discover characterizations of diseases never before achievable. These “deep phenotypes” are exploited to identify novel therapeutic targets and drug treatments for disorders for which current discovery techniques have proved least successful, including neurodevelopmental, psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. To learn more, visit www.herophilus.com.

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are based on management’s beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to management. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the following words: “may,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “should,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “project,” “potential,” “continue,” “ongoing” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. These statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to be materially different from the information expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Although we believe that we have a reasonable basis for each forward-looking statement contained in this press release, we caution you that these statements are based on a combination of facts and factors currently known by us and our projections of the future, about which we cannot be certain. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements about the potential attributes and benefits of the collaboration and Herophilus’ multi-modal deep phenotyping approach, the ability to discover, evaluate and prioritize therapies with the potential to improve and reverse symptoms of schizophrenia, including therapeutic candidates with disease-modifying potential, and the ability to create a prolific neuroscience drug discovery and development engine. We cannot assure you that the forward-looking statements in this press release will prove to be accurate. Furthermore, if the forward-looking statements prove to be inaccurate, the inaccuracy may be material. Actual performance and results may differ materially from those projected or suggested in the forward-looking statements due to various risks and uncertainties, including, among others: that we may not be able to realize the expected benefits of the collaboration; clinical trial results may not be favorable; uncertainties inherent in the product development process (including with respect to the timing of results and whether such results will be predictive of future results); the impact of COVID-19 on the timing, progress and results of ongoing or planned clinical trials; other impacts of COVID-19, including operational disruptions or delays or to our ability to raise additional capital; whether and when, if at all, our product candidates will receive approval from the FDA or other regulatory authorities, and for which, if any, indications; competition from other biotechnology companies; uncertainties regarding intellectual property protection; and other risks identified in our SEC filings, including those under the heading “Risk Factors” in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on November 10, 2021 and our subsequent SEC filings. In light of the significant uncertainties in these forward-looking statements, you should not regard these statements as a representation or warranty by us or any other person that we will achieve our objectives and plans in any specified time frame, or at all. The forward-looking statements in this press release represent our views as of the date of this press release. We anticipate that subsequent events and developments will cause our views to change. However, while we may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we have no current intention of doing so except to the extent required by applicable law. You should, therefore, not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing our views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.

Media Contacts:
Anna Robinson
Cerevel Therapeutics

Thermal for Herophilus
Kaustuva Das

Investor Contact:
Matthew Calistri
Cerevel Therapeutics

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