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UK neuroscience company raises £16m to tackle Parkinson’s and ALS

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A UK neuroscience company has closed a £16m funding round to advance mitochondrial therapeutics for Parkinson’s and ALS.

NRG Therapeutics is applying science in the field of mitochondrial biology to develop “disease-modifying” therapeutics to slow or halt the progression of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and ALS – also known as motor neurone disease.

NRG’s pre-clinical pipeline includes small molecule assets which inhibit the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP).

Mitochondria are the powerhouses or batteries of cells and are essential for maintaining cell health. Researchers have found that mitochondrial failure or dysfunction is common across many degenerative diseases.

However, inhibition of the mPTP has been shown to protect neurons, reduce neuroinflammation, and extend survival in pre-clinical disease models.

NRG’s investigational new drugs could protect mitochondria and increase the viability of human cells, and have the potential to halt or significantly slow the progression of disease in individuals with Parkinson’s or ALS, in vitro studies suggested.

If successful in clinical trials, the company’s therapeutics would be the first disease-modifying medicine to prevent or delay disease progression for people with Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s – the fastest-growing neurological disorder in the world- affects around 10 million people worldwide and occurs as a result of the loss of specific dopamine-producing cells in the brain that control muscle movement.

NRG will use the financing, led by Omega Funds, to advance the company’s potential brain-penetrant small molecules through IND-enabling studies.

“We are excited to welcome Omega Funds and Brandon Capital as new investors and thank the Parkinson’s Virtual Biotech for its continued support,” said NRG’s co-founder and CEO, Dr Neil Millers.

“We look forward to working with them, and our expanding team and R&D partners to bring new medicines and hope to the growing number of people worldwide living with debilitating neurodegenerative disorders.”

Claudio Nessi, managing director at Omega Funds, said: “With the ultimate impact to patients at the forefront of Omega’s process, we are focused on investing in transformative innovation with the potential to address devastating diseases with high unmet need.

“While drug development in neurological diseases has been challenging historically, emerging insights into disease drivers has led to somewhat of a resurgence. This is all the more important given the increasing prevalence and life-limiting effects of these debilitating diseases, as well as their immense healthcare cost burden.

“We are impressed by the potential of NRG’s small molecules as orally-bioavailable and brain-penetrant treatments and look forward to working with the team to move the programmes through IND-enabling studies.

“If successful, the company’s mitochondrial therapeutics could transform the lives of patients suffering from Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases,” Nessi added.

 

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