Increases Funds to Develop Therapeutics Acting on Novel Targets for Brain Diseases
Boston, MA – July 21, 2020 – Cerevance, a private drug discovery and development company focused on brain diseases, has expanded its Series B financing round, adding $20 million to the $45 million that it announced in April. With this second closing, UPMC Enterprises, Casdin Capital and Dolby Family Ventures joined the company’s investor base, while Foresite Capital added to its investment made in the first closing. Cerevance’s previous closing also included GV (formerly Google Ventures), Bill Gates, Takeda Ventures, Inc., the Dementia Discovery Fund and Lightstone Ventures.
“Cerevance uses its powerful NETSseq platform to uncover drivers of disease and aging in a unique tissue collection of 8,000 human brain samples,” said Matthias Kleinz, Ph.D., Vice President of Translational Programs at UPMC Enterprises, who will be joining Cerevance’s Board of Directors. “This has enabled Cerevance to discover entirely novel drugs and targets that could transform the treatment of patients with a range of CNS diseases. We are excited to work with the team at Cerevance to support this ground-breaking discovery effort, which aligns with critical clinical, research and investment focus areas for UPMC.”
Cerevance will use the proceeds of the financing to continue identifying novel therapeutic targets for central nervous system diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, by transcriptionally and epigenetically profiling specific neuronal and glial cell populations in thousands of post-mortem human brain tissue samples and advancing a diverse portfolio of therapeutic programs against them.
“It’s gratifying to see such strong investor enthusiasm for our unique target discovery platform and emerging therapeutic pipeline,” said Robert Middlebrook, chief financial officer of Cerevance. “This capital will allow us to move quickly in advancing novel approaches to diseases with significant unmet medical need.”
Cerevance, a private, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on brain diseases, is applying a new technology, called NETSseq, to reveal transcriptional and epigenetic differences between specific cell types in mature human brains. NETSseq profiles neuronal and glial cell populations at depths not possible with other approaches, generating unprecedented data sets and insights. The company has thus far partnered with 18 brain banks around the world to assemble a growing collection of more than 8,000 clinically annotated, human brain tissue samples from healthy and diseased donors spanning nine decades in age. By applying NETSseq to specific cell types critical to circuits disrupted by disease and comparing vulnerable and resilient cell populations, Cerevance’s scientists have begun identifying targets and advancing a pipeline of novel therapeutics that modulate them for CNS diseases.
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About UPMC Enterprises
UPMC Enterprises is the innovation and commercialization arm of UPMC, a $21 billion health care provider and insurer based in Pittsburgh. UPMC has committed to investing $1 billion in developing novel drugs, diagnostics and devices by 2024. Over the past two years, UPMC Enterprises has formed five translational science companies and made several investments in external biotech companies aimed at dramatically improving patient care. Working in close collaboration with innovators from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC Enterprises provides its portfolio companies and partners with capital, connections and resources to develop solutions to health care’s most complex problems. With an emphasis on translational science and digital solutions, UPMC Enterprises strives to accelerate science from the bench to the bedside and engage patients and physicians with technology that connects the entire health system, leading to new models of patient-centered, cost-effective, accountable care.
About Foresite Capital
Foresite Capital funds visionary healthcare entrepreneurs. With approximately $3 billion in assets under management, Foresite Capital has a team of clinical scientists, engineers, analysts and partners who support and guide companies at all stages of their life cycles. The firm is headquartered in San Francisco with an office in New York. For more information visit www.foresitecapital.com.
About Casdin Capital
In the fall of 2011, Eli founded his fast-growing growth equity fund in the equally fast-growing sector of Life Sciences handily outperforming a sector-wide upswing. Casdin Capital’s strategy and success lies in its deep fundamental research and participation in all aspects of the life science revolution; from diagnostics to information systems through to molecular medicines into industrial biotech applications. As Casdin often points out, genomics is a data-driven paradigm shift that is fundamentally reshaping the entire healthcare and life science industry, much as Silicon Valley and the semi-conductor reshaped our social and commercial lives, creating a diversity of investment opportunities along the way.
About Dolby Family Ventures
Dolby Family Ventures is an early stage venture firm focused on building great technology and life sciences companies. We partner with best-in-class innovators and strong investment syndicate partners. The fund honors the legacy of Ray Dolby and his commitment to entrepreneurs and their vision to solve the world’s toughest problems. The life science investment focus centers on novel disease modifying therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease, clinical depression, and neurostimulation therapies for a range of disorders.
Robert Middlebrook, +1-408-220-5722
Andrew Mielach, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1-646-876-5868