A year after it launched with $500 million in initial capital, Neumora Therapeutics said today it has closed on $112 million in Series B financing, proceeds of which are intended to advance its pipeline of precision drugs for neuropsychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases stemming from disorders of the brain, as well as a platform for developing the therapies.
That pipeline is led by NMRA-140, a kappa opioid receptor antagonist being developed to treat major depressive disorder. Neumora said it recently completed enrollment in a 204-patient proof of concept Phase IIa trial (NCT04221230) comparing NMRA-140 to placebo in adults with major depressive disorder and symptoms of anhedonia and anxiety following eight weeks of double-blind treatment as assessed by the HAMD-17 Scale.
NMRA-140 is Neumora’s one of two clinical-phase candidates. The other is NMRA-511, a Phase I vasopressin 1a receptor antagonist being developed to treat neuropsychiatric disorders. In 2023, Neumora plans to advance into Phase I NMRA-266, an M4 muscarinic receptor positive allosteric modulator (PAM) being developed to treat schizophrenia.
NMRA-266 is part of an M4 muscarinic receptor PAM program that Neumora is developing through an exclusive, worldwide license agreement and research collaboration with Vanderbilt University’s Warren Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery (WCNDD), announced in February. The program was discovered in the labs of Craig W. Lindsley, PhD, director of Vanderbilt’s WCNDD, and Jeffrey Conn, PhD, director emeritus.
“This considerable amount of progress in such a short period of time reflects our urgency to address the relative lack of progress and innovation in neuroscience with our data-driven, precision medicine approach,” Paul L. Berns, Neumora’s co-founder, chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
Also in Neumora’s pipeline are four other preclinical candidates which according to the company are indicated for neuropsychiatric disorders that include Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): NMRA-GRIN2A, NMRA-NLRP3, NMRA-CK1δ, and NMRA-GCase.
“This Series B financing reflects Neumora’s continued progress in building a best-in-class neuroscience company, including assembling a world-class team, scaling up an industry-leading data science and translational neuroscience platform, and advancing a broad and growing pipeline of seven development programs, including our internal discovery efforts and business development activities,” Berns added.
Precision data science p14latform
Neumora relies on a scalable precision data science platform designed to identify and define patient subtypes by mapping the mechanisms that drive brain diseases, using multiple open-source and proprietary datasets collected by Neumora across neuropsychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.
The company’s proprietary toolbox of neural network technologies integrates multiple types of data across genomics, imaging, electroencephalogram (EEG), digital and clinical domains to create Data Biopsy Signatures™ designed to map underlying disease mechanisms to Precision Phenotypes™ that identify distinct patient subtypes.
That approach, Neumora says, enables it to match the right patient populations to targeted therapeutics, thus de-risking clinical trials and increasing the odds of improved patient outcomes.
“With this Series B financing, we have successfully raised approximately $650 million in capital, resulting in a very strong financial position to continue advancing our broad pipeline through multiple near-term value-creating milestones,” added Joshua Pinto, PhD, Neumora’s chief financial officer.
Neumora launched in October 2021 with $500 million consisting of a $100 equity investment from Amgen—which is partnering with Neumora to develop new precision therapies for diseases originating in the brain—and a $400 million Series A financing. The Series A was led by ARCH Venture Partners, which founded Neumora in 2019 and operated the company in stealth mode until emerging in early October.
ARCH is among new and existing investors participating in Neumora’s Series B round, along with Abu Dhabi Growth Fund (ADG), Altitude Life Science Ventures, Amgen, ARCH Venture Partners, Exor Ventures, F-Prime Capital, Invus, Mubadala Capital, Newpath Partners, Polaris Partners, and other undisclosed investors.
Alaa Halawa, partner and head of U.S. Ventures at Mubadala Capital, joined Neumora’s board of directors in connection with the completion of the Series B financing.
“We are humbled to be part of their journey,” Halawa stated. “The integration of technology, namely AI/ML, and proprietary clinical data is helping us develop a deeper understanding of the complex drivers of brain disease to develop novel treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.”