Proclara Biosciences Announces $47 Million in New Investment to Support the Development of Product Candidates in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Other Diseases
Former NeuroPhage Pharmaceuticals relaunches as clinical-stage company with lead program in Alzheimer’s, and earlier programs in multiple protein misfolding disorders
Daniel Lynch appointed as the executive chairman of board of directors; Nick Leschly also joins board
Cambridge, MA, September 07, 2016 – Proclara Biosciences, a biotechnology company developing novel therapies for diseases caused by protein misfolding, today announced that the company has secured $47 million in a Series E financing to support the development of product candidates for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other diseases. Additionally, the former NeuroPhage Pharmaceuticals announced that it has changed its name to Proclara Biosciences, marking its evolution into a clinical stage company. In a separate announcement released today, Proclara also reported that it has initiated a Phase 1b clinical trial of its lead product candidate, NPT088, for Alzheimer’s disease.
Proclara’s $47 million Series E financing was led by existing investors, including private investors and Merieux Developpement. The financing will support further clinical development of NPT088, as well as the preclinical advancement of additional molecules toward the clinic. With completion of this financing, Proclara has raised more than $110 million to date.
“We are very pleased by the continued support of our investors, which speaks to the strength of our science and the tremendous potential for our therapies to transform the treatment landscape for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases,” said Franz Hefti, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Proclara. “Together with our name change, this important corporate milestone marks our continued progress towards bringing to market a new class of medicines to address the urgent needs of patients suffering from debilitating protein misfolding diseases.”
Proclara’s name change from NeuroPhage Pharmaceuticals signifies its emergence as a clinical-stage company with a novel approach to treating diseases caused by misfolded proteins. While most current therapies being investigated for neurodegenerative diseases target only a single type of misfolded protein, Proclara’s proprietary General Amyloid Interaction Motif (GAIM) platform enables the simultaneous targeting of multiple misfolded proteins, which may provide a superior approach to addressing the complex pathophysiology of multi-factorial diseases.
As part of the Series E financing, Daniel Lynch, a highly experienced biotechnology executive, was appointed executive chairman of Proclara’s board of directors. Nick Leschly, chief executive officer of bluebird bio, was also appointed to the company’s board.
“I am delighted to join the Proclara board of directors at this exciting time in the company’s development, ” said Lynch. “I believe Proclara’s GAIM-based therapies have tremendous potential to modify the disease trajectory of multiple neurodegenerative diseases and look forward to working with the talented management team to advance these programs through clinical development.”
Lynch is a venture partner at Third Rock Ventures. Previously, he served as chief executive and chief financial officer of ImClone Systems Corporation. As chief executive, he led the company through a significant turnaround, helping to restore its reputation and to secure FDA approval of ERBITUX (Cetuximab), a novel cancer treatment. As chief financial officer, he led negotiations to form the major partnership between ImClone and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Earlier in his career, Lynch served in various financial positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb over a 15-year tenure. In addition to chairing Proclara’s board, Lynch is chairman of the board of the following companies: bluebird bio, Blueprint Medicines, RaNA Therapeutics, BIND Therapeutics and Eleven Biotherapeutics. Lynch has advised and served as chairman of the board of directors for a number of biopharmaceutical companies, which include Stromedix (until its acquisition by Biogen Idec in 2012) and Avila Therapeutics (until its acquisition by Celgene Corporation in 2012). He was also a member of the board of directors and the audit committee of U.S. Oncology for five years until 2010, when it was acquired by McKesson. Lynch received his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Wesleyan University and his Master of Business Administration from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.
Leschly has served as the chief executive officer of bluebird bio since 2010. Formerly, he was a partner and founding member of Third Rock Ventures in 2007. Leschly has played an integral role in the overall formation, development and business strategy of several of Third Rock’s portfolio companies, including Agios Pharmaceuticals and Edimer Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Third Rock, he worked at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, leading several early-stage drug development programs and served as the product leader for VELCADE. Leschly also founded and served as chief executive officer of MedXtend Corporation. He received his Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology from Princeton University and his Master of Business Administration from Wharton Business School.
About Proclara Biosciences
Proclara Biosciences is a biotechnology company advancing product candidates developed based on proprietary GAIM technology, which is capable of simultaneously targeting multiple toxic misfolded proteins. The broad applicability of the Proclara technology enables the company to target multiple protein misfolding diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases and several rare systemic amyloidoses. The lead GAIM drug candidate, NPT088, is in clinical development for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. For more information, please visit proclarabio.com.