Aptinyx Bags $70M Financing to Fuel Expanding Pipeline


Aptinyx closed on a Series B financing worth $70 million. The round was led by Bain Capital Life Sciences. New investors included Adage Capital, Agent Capital, HBM Healthcare Investments, Nan Fung Life Sciences, Partner Fund Management, and Rock Springs Capital. Existing investors took part as well, including New Leaf Venture Partners, Frazier Healthcare Partners, Longitude Capital, Osage University Partners, Adams Street Partners, LVP Life Science Ventures, PathoCapital, Goudy Park Capital, Beecken Petty O’Keefe & Company, and Northwestern University.

Aptinyx is a clinical-stage biotech company focused on developing therapeutics for neurological disorders, specifically drugs that modulate the NMDA receptor involved in nerve cell communication. Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Fast Track designation for NYX-783 for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The company has launched a Phase I clinical trial of the compound to evaluate its safety and tolerability in healthy volunteers.

“This financing will provide fuel for our growing pipeline as we continue to develop our innovative and differentiated NMDA receptor modulators for the treatment of a variety of neurological disorders with high unmet medical need,” said Norbert Riedel, Aptinyx’s president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “We are delighted by the support of this syndicate of highly respected global investors with extensive domain expertise, which will be valuable as we advance our pipeline toward late-stage development in multiple indications.”

The financing will be used to support clinical trials of several drug candidates, including NYX-2925, for neuropathic pain, and NYX-783 for PTSD. The company also expects to take another compound into the clinic in 2018, start development programs for other indications, and continue discovery programs for NMDA receptors.

The company’s NYX-2925 is in a Phase II trial in patients with neuropathic pain related to diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), in addition to an exploratory study in fibromyalgia.

As part of the financing, Adam Koppel, a managing director at Bain Capital Life Sciences, will join Aptinyx’s board of directors.

“Aptinyx is leading a renaissance in neurotherapeutic drug development with its prolific drug discovery platform, unique mechanism of action relevant in a number of challenging neurologic disorders, and ability to quickly advance drug candidates,” Koppel said in a statement. “We are eager to support Aptinyx in the development of its portfolio of promising NMDA receptor modulators for the benefit of patients who suffer from these neurologic conditions.”

Aptinyx spun out of Naurex as part of Allergan’s acquisition of Naurex in 2015 for $560 million. Allergan’s takeout focused on Naurex’s lead NMDA compound rapastinel for depression and a Phase II drug, apimostinel, also for depression. During the acquisition, Aptinyx was built on Naurex’s chemistry platform for discovery compounds that modulate the NMDA receptor.

Both Aptinyx and Naurex were built on the work of neurobiologist Joseph Moskal, a researcher with Northwestern University. Moskal also started up an earlier company, Nyxis Neurotherapies, which launched in 1999.

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