NeuShen Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company focusing on developing innovative treatments for central nervous system (CNS) disorders with dual platforms of AAV-based gene therapy and small molecule discovery, announced today the closure of ~$20 million Series pre-A financing led by LAPAM, a China based venture capital. NeuShen was founded by a group of industrial executives who have extensive global experiences in central nervous system (CNS) drug development. The new capital will be used to expand the team and catalyze in-house CNS drug discovery in both the US and China.
"The successful completion of this fundraising is a testimony to our team's ability to accomplish CNS drug development and jump starts our discovery engine to build a pipeline with AAV-based gene therapy and small molecule programs," said Joan Shen, M.D., Ph.D., chief executive officer and founder of NeuShen. "CNS disease is an area with huge unmet needs. Our company has had a very clear goal from Day 1, which is to develop novel therapies to relieve the burdens of patients with CNS disorders. In the past few months, we have developed an achievable R&D strategy and built-up a substantial core team with experienced CNS drug hunters. Significant progress has been made in building the internal small molecule pipeline and new AAV gene therapy programs. In addition, multiple collaborations and partnerships have been discussed and established."
CNS disorders are increasingly recognized as major causes of death and disability worldwide while the diagnosis and treatments have largely lagged. Urgent measures are needed to tackle the growing challenges. "Bringing breakthroughs and learnings from other disease targets such as ophthalmology, oncology and hematology, we believe AAV-based gene therapy represents a new opportunity in the treatment of CNS disorders. My colleagues and I at Horae Gene Therapy Center are looking forward to working with Neushen to explore these treatment opportunities. The experiences of NeuShen team in neurosciences will be critical to make this happen," noted Dr. Guangping Gao, Professor, Director, Horae Gene Therapy Center, UMass Chan Medical School. The collaborations between NeuShen and UMass are currently in discussion, which will include multiple projects in CNS gene therapy.
"We are very excited to partner with NeuShen from the beginning. Lapam Capital has a strong commitment to healthcare, and we believe the CNS therapeutic area will attract more investment, considering the huge unmet needs and scientific advancements in the field. We highly value Dr. Joan Shen and her management team for their expertise. Lampam Capital is confident with NeuShen's ability to be a top player in developing innovative therapies for CNS diseases," said Mr. Zhihua Yu, Managing Director of Lapam Capital.
"Dr. Shen has assembled a pre-eminent group of scientists, clinicians and drug developers to build a global biotech developing novel medicines for unmet needs in CNS therapeutic areas. TTM Capital are excited to support Neushen to build its multi-modality pipelines to help patients worldwide," said Ms. Lilly Zhang, founding and managing partner at TTM Capital.