Naurex announced the completion of an $18 million Series A financing led by Adams Street Partners, and Latterell Venture Partners, with Druid BioVentures, Genesys Capital, PathoCapital, Lundbeck, Takeda Ventures, and Shire also taking part in the round.
Naurex will use the proceeds for the Phase 2 trial of its lead compound, GLYX-13, a glycine-site functional partial agonist (GFPA) selective modulator of the NMDA receptor (NMDAR), in addition to advancing its second-generation GFPA program.
“We view the distinguished group of investors joining our Series A round as an encouraging indicator of the significant clinical and commercial potential of our novel NMDAR modulators,” noted Derek A. Small, chief executive officer of Naurex. “We are delighted that the syndicate includes both experienced healthcare venture capital firms as well as three major pharmaceutical companies.”
Naurex also announced that Wilbur (Bill) Gantz of PathoCapital has been named chairman of Naurex’s board of directors, a newly created position. Terry Gould of Adams Street Partners and Kenneth Widder, MD, of Latterell Ventures are also joining as directors. Current board member David U’Prichard, PhD, of Druid BioVentures will continue as a director of Naurex, as will independent director Edward Chandler. GLYX-13 is Naurex’s lead GFPA selective modulator of the NMDAR. The novel GFPA class of compounds has demonstrated the potential to achieve the well-documented efficacy of classic NMDAR-modulating drugs, while avoiding their serious side effects.
In preclinical studies, GLYX-13 demonstrated the robust antidepressant-like activity of ketamine, including its rapid onset and long duration of effect, with no signs of side effects. It also achieved the widest therapeutic ratio between efficacy and side effects of any known NMDAR modulator. In a Phase I trial, GLYX-13 was well tolerated, with adverse events for the groups receiving GLYX-13 and placebo all rated as mild. There were no signs of the schizophrenia-like side effects associated with other drugs that modulate the NMDAR. Naurex expects to initiate patient enrollment in a Phase II trial of GLYX-13 in patients who are not achieving an adequate response to their current antidepressant agents.
Release Date: May 11, 2011