Northwestern spinout Naurex raises $80M Series C to bring antidepressant to Phase III

Northwestern University biotech spinout Naurex just raised $80 million for its CNS drug that targets major depressive disorder – a real win for the psychiatric med space, which has few significant contenders at present. The money’s meant to further develop GLYX-13, an NMDA receptor modulator that’s on the cusp of entering Phase III trials to treat major […]

Northwestern University biotech spinout Naurex just raised $80 million for its CNS drug that targets major depressive disorder – a real win for the psychiatric med space, which has few significant contenders at present.

The money’s meant to further develop GLYX-13, an NMDA receptor modulator that’s on the cusp of entering Phase III trials to treat major depressive disorder. Naurex has a second-generation compound, NRX-1074, under development as well, which is in Phase IIs for major depressive disorder.

The dollars come shortly after the company completed a Phase IIB trial, which likely impressed investors. Complete numbers will be reported next week.

 

The Chicago-area company says that in clinical proof-of-concept studies, GLYX-13 “was well-tolerated and demonstrated rapid, robust and sustained antidepressant effects.” The drug works by targeting NMDA receptors, which increase synaptic plasticity and correct irregularities in how neural cells communicate.

“Our company was established to develop therapeutics that precisely modulate the NMDA receptor to normalize and even enhance neuronal communication, thereby correcting the dysfunction that is at the root of many CNS disorders,” CEO Norbert Riedel said in a statement. He added that the proceeds will go toward addressing other CNS diseases and disorders.

Naurex is rather well-capitalized – it just raised $25 million this May, and $38 million in 2012. Including this most recent round, its raised more than $160 million since its

“With convincing clinical data from its lead antidepressant program, and the tools and leadership to apply this approach in other indications, we believe that Naurex is well-positioned to change the treatment of CNS disorders,” said Oleg Nodelman, founder of EcoR1 Capital, one of the new investors in Naurex.

Other new investors participating in the round include Cowen Investments, Goudy Park Capital, Portola Capital Partners and Sabby Capital. Existing investors also participated in the round, including Adams Street Partners, Baxter Ventures, Druid BioVentures, Genesys Capital, H. Lundbeck A/S, Latterell Venture Partners, Northwestern University, PathoCapital, Savitr Capital and Takeda Ventures.