Pharma, Startups

Fresh off its $560M acquisition, the team behind Naurex is launching a new startup

Just weeks after being acquired by Allergan, the team behind Chicago-based Naurex is launching a new startup: Aptinyx. It’ll focus on developing drugs for diseases of the brain and nervous system.

The team behind psychiatric drug-maker Naurex is launching a new startup, fresh on the heels of getting acquired in August by Allergan for $560 million.

The Chicago startup, called Aptinyx, will be built on the discovery platform and preclinical pipeline developed by Naurex. The new company, much like Naurex, will be developing drugs for both psychiatric and neurological disorders, based on the concept of advancing small molecule drugs that work as modulators of the NMDA receptor. It plans to target a number of nervous system disorders, including traumatic brain injury, neuropathic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and epilepsy, it said in a statement.

The company has “significant seed financing,” as well as a “high-potential research collaboration with Allergan,” Aptinyx president and CEO (and former Naurex top executive) Norbert Riedel said in the statement.

Aptinyx has already begun IND-enabling studies for its line of therapeutics that are meant to improve synaptic plasticity – strengthening the neural cell communication network. This class of drugs is being broadly studied for its potential to improve neurological or psychiatric conditions.

The startup will work with Allergan from the outset to develop these new drugs. Allergan has the right to in-license a certain number of the compounds that are discovered during their the partnership.

[IMAGE: Flickr user Allan Ajifo]