QurAlis Launches with Seed Funding from MPH, Amgen and Alexandria, United in the Fight to Cure ALS
Published: Apr 05, 2018
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- QurAlis Corporation, a new private biotech company focused on developing precision solutions to cure ALS, today announced the addition of biotech investors MP Healthcare Venture Management (MPH), Amgen Ventures, and Alexandria Venture Investments, who have joined the fight to cure Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). ALS, the most common motor neuron disease, is a fast-progressing, paralytic condition leaving patients with an average life expectancy of only three years. Recent insights from genetics and new biomarkers show that ALS is not one disease, but a spectrum of disorders with varying underlying mechanisms. Like cancer, each ALS subtype needs to be treated with precision therapies. QurAlis was founded to leverage these emerging insights and new technologies in order to address its mission of curing ALS.
QurAlis was founded by Harvard professors and ALS and stem cell pioneers, Dr. Kevin Eggan and Dr. Clifford Woolf, along with Jonathan Fleming, CEO of Q-State Biosciences, and QurAlis’ CEO, Dr. Kasper Roet. Through initial support of ALS-focused friends and family investors, QurAlis is developing three precision therapies targeting three distinct subtypes of ALS: a drug to restore a dysfunctional cellular waste clearance system that progressively poisons neurons; a drug to treat overactive neurons and prevent cell death via excitotoxicity; and a transformative device to remove toxic proteins. Success with any of these therapies will have a tremendous positive impact on ALS patients and their families.
QurAlis has formed an experienced management team, which includes renowned structural biologist and drug design expert Dr. Manuel Navia, rare disease specialist Dr. Daniel Elbaum (CSO), and an extraordinary scientific advisory board including leading ALS clinicians and scientists Dr. Chris Shaw (King’s College London) and Dr. Matthew Kiernan (The University of Sydney). In 2017, QurAlis won the LabCentral Golden Ticket award given by Amgen. Through Amgen’s sponsorship, the Golden Ticket represents one year of free bench space to QurAlis, which includes LabCentral’s shared infrastructure and services and access to mentoring with Amgen’s scientists.
“We are now proud to announce that three important corporate investors have joined the seed round of QurAlis. MP Healthcare Venture Management (MPH), a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, the company that developed Radicava® (edaravone), the only ALS treatment option in the United States approved by the FDA in the last 20 years. MPH is joined by Amgen Ventures, supported by a strong internal focus on ALS as a therapeutic area of interest at Amgen, and Alexandria Venture Investments, a long-standing biotech investor which has recognized the enormous potential of QurAlis,” said Dr. Roet. “The participation of MPH, Amgen and Alexandria is an incredible validation of our strategy and brings us closer to bringing innovative precision medicine to ALS patients.”
QurAlis is differentiated by its proprietary technologies and molecules, expertise in patient-derived stem cell models, and multidisciplinary team with a proven track record of success in the development of novel therapies. QurAlis’ programs are designed to rapidly move from identification of validated molecular targets through development of therapies, clinical biomarkers, clinical trials, regulatory and IP strategy toward registration. “All of our work is targeted to the finish line, to treating ALS patients,” said Dr. Roet.
“The Amgen Ventures investment in QurAlis aligns with Amgen’s commitment to advancing novel neuroscience research to bring needed therapies to patients,” said John Dunlop, vice president of Neuroscience at Amgen. “We are delighted to further support QurAlis’ innovative technologies in their mission to help patients with this extremely debilitating disease.”
About QurAlis Corporation
QurAlis Corporation is a Cambridge (USA) -based biotech company which develops precision therapies for ALS patients. For more information, please visit www.QurAlis.com.
Kasper Roet, Ph.D, +1 617-682-6015
Chief Executive Officer
Source: QurAlis Corporation