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Muna raises $73m to advance neurodegenerative disease-focused small molecule pipeline

The company is focused on developing investigational new drug applications for diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Muna Therapeutics has launched with $73m series A funding to advance its small molecule therapeutics pipeline focused on neurodegenerative diseases.

Backed by Novo Holdings, Muna is focused on the development of novel small molecule therapeutics targeting neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s, frontotemporal dementia and Parkinson’s.

Muna was founded in 2020 by Simon Glerup and his team from Aarhus University, Denmark, in collaboration with Novo Seeds – the early-stage investment division of Novo Holdings.

The team then united with K5 Therapeutics – co-founded in 2020 by Bart De Stropper of VIB-KU Leuven Belgium – and the combined company will now be based in both Copenhagen and Leuven.

“We are delighted with the support and backing from Novo Seeds and this world-class investor syndicate,” said Rita Balice-Gordon, chief executive officer of Muna Therapeutics.

“We are in an era of rapid advancement in understanding how to slow or stop the relentless progression of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and frontotemporal dementia that devastate cognition and quality of life for patients as well as caregivers. Our team is committed to leveraging our collective expertise to deliver impactful disease-modifying small molecule therapeutics to patients as rapidly as possible,” she added.

The newly launched company’s platform is based on proprietary insights into molecular pathways in different human brain cell types. The platform, based on work from the De Strooper and Glerup labs, considers the disease pathology of and resilience to neurodegeneration.

Muna has built a small molecule drug discovery engine that utilises high-resolution target structural approaches, artificial intelligence- (AI) driven computational chemistry and cell-based screening.

The series A financing will be used to advance Muna’s small molecule programmes – focused on neuronal dysfunction, resolving neuroinflammation and restoring neuroprotection and resilience to disease – toward investigational new drug (IND) applications.

“Novo Seeds is delighted to welcome a global syndicate of first-class investors who strongly believe in Muna’s world-leading science, experienced leadership team, and its potential to develop innovative treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. We are honoured to co-lead this round with Sofinnova Partners, Droia Ventures and LSP Dementia Fund – a tremendous joint effort to bring Muna to the next level,” said Morten Graugaard Døssing, chairman of the board and partner at Novo Holdings.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

9th July 2021

From: Research

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