SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- NeuCyte, Inc., a leading neuroscience drug discovery company, announced the closing of a Series A financing round of $6.7 million, for a totaled funding of more than $8 million. NeuCyte's initial investors, Cowin Venture and Leaguer Ventures, led the round.
NeuCyte intends to use the proceeds of the Series A financing to further develop their SynFire® in vitro CNS drug discovery platform for the identification of novel drug targets for Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) and other genetically defined neurological disorders. NeuCyte is also seeking strategic partnerships to rapidly advance their programs to a clinical stage.
"The high attrition rates of disease modifying drugs for CNS disorders in clinical trials are a clear indication that current non-clinical testing is not predictive of clinical outcome and are failing to serve the unmet needs of millions of patients. Our mission is to improve the lives of these individuals by developing better predictive assays to accelerate and optimize CNS drug discovery," said Jonathan Davila, co-founder and CEO. "Focusing solely on neurological disorders, our goal is to harness the power of induced neural cells to make NeuCyte the premier neuroscience company."
"NeuCyte has created a proprietary platform that enables translatable neuroscience. Our platform allows for modeling neurological diseases, as well as phenotypic and target-based drug screens in the right context, a human context," said Tao Huang, co-founder and President. "NeuCyte's SynFire technology unleashes the true potential of neuroscience research for CNS drug discovery."
Xin Huang, Managing Partner of Cowin Venture, commented, "NeuCyte has put together a terrific scientific team that are experts in extracting relevant human phenotypes for novel target identification and compound screening. We have been impressed with the delivery of NeuCyte's team in such a short period of time and are delighted to invest in this exciting company. NeuCyte's SynFire technology has the potential to be a game changer for CNS drug discovery and benefit millions of patients suffering from neurological disorders."
NeuCyte's SynFire neuronal cells are generated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from healthy or diseased individuals. Our proprietary neuronal reprogramming technology, exclusively licensed from Stanford, can produce large quantities of highly pure populations of specific neuronal subtypes. The different neuronal subtypes can be mixed and matched, giving researchers the ultimate flexibility to study a single cell type or co-culture environment consisting of mixed human neuronal subtypes and astroglia. These cells are ideally suited for CNS in vitro disease modeling for drug discovery and compound screening, as well as non-clinical drug neurotoxicity and safety assessment. NeuCyte also distributes healthy induced neurons under the SynFire® trademark.
About NeuCyte Inc.
NeuCyte is an innovating biopharmaceutical company that harnesses the power of iPSC derived neuronal cells to develop impactful medicines for the treatment of neurological disorders. They began operations in 2016 and are rapidly becoming a leader in the evolving field of iPSC-based neuroscience drug discovery. NeuCyte's core technology was developed in the laboratories of the Nobel laureate Dr. Thomas Südhof, M.D., Ph.D. and Dr. Marius Wernig, M.D. at Stanford University, and both are among the co-founders of the company. The company has assembled a Scientific Advisory Board including among others, Dr. Thomas Südhof, M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University, Dr. Anne Bang, Ph.D., from Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute and Dr. Paul Hagerman, M.D., Ph.D., from U.C. Davis. Dr. Südhof currently chairs the Scientific Advisory Board of NeuCyte.
About Cowin Venture
Cowin Venture focuses on early-stage investments in technology and healthcare companies in both China and the United States. Founded in 2009, Cowin has managed eight RMB funds and two USD funds with over 2 billion RMB (300 million USD) under management. Cowin currently has more than 30 healthcare portfolio companies in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics and digital health sectors. Cowin aims to identify world-leading biotech and medtech innovations with global intellectual properties and to leverage the vast clinical resources in China to speed up the R&D process and value-inflection of portfolio companies. For more information, please visit www.cowinvc.com.
About Leaguer Ventures
Leaguer Ventures is one of the venture capital funds managed by Leaguer, the commercial arm of Research Institute of Tsinghua University in Shenzhen (RITS) in China. RITS was jointly founded by Shenzhen Municipal Government and Tsinghua University in 1996 to focus on translational R&D and operate in an enterprise mode. Leaguer carries out all business operation and asset management of RITS and manages 15 funds covering all stages, from seed, VC, PE, M&A, to private placement, with a total of 7 billion RMB under management. Leaguer has invested in more than 400 companies in various sectors, including Biological Medicine (health-tech), New Material, Alternative Energy (clean-tech), Hi-end Equipment Manufacturing, Autonomous Driving, Electronic Chip (ICT), and Soil Improvement (agri-tech), with more than 20 going public.
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