Cambridge, UK-based biopharmaceutical company Wren Therapeutics has completed the closing of £12.4m financing, taking its total capital raised to date to around £33m.
The latest financing round was led by the company’s existing shareholder The Baupost Group, with new investors including Schooner Capital and Industry Ventures. Other existing investors, including LifeForce Capital, also participated.
Wren, a spin-off company from both the University of Cambridge in the UK and Lund University in Sweden, is focused on drug discovery and development for the treatment of protein misfolding diseases.
The company has utilised the capital raised so far to advance its lead small molecule programmes, targeting amyloid-beta and alpha-synuclein – with the first clinical candidate for amyloid-β set for Q1 2021.
Last December, Wren also signed a research collaboration agreement with Eisai to discover new small molecules for the potential treatment of synucleinopathies.
Synucleinopathies are neurodegenerative disease characterised by the misfolding and aggregation of a-synuclein in neurons and glial cells.
This includes Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and multiple system atrophy.
Wren has also expanded its pipeline to included three additional targets – including IAAP for diabetes, tua for Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies, and TDP-43 for motor neurone disease.
“The new capital, alongside our recently announced collaboration with Eisai, is a further endorsement of our unique chemical kinetics platform that has been industrialised by the Wren team over the previous four years, building on more than a decade of prior academic research,” said Samuel Cohen, chief executive officer of Wren.
“Our mission is to radically advance drug discovery for a wide range of protein misfolding diseases by creating molecules that will offer transformative therapeutic options for millions of patients globally suffering from these increasingly common medical disorders,” he added.
by Lucy Parsons
The new company will have four complementary businesses: Perfumery & Beauty, Food & Beverage/Taste & Beyond, Health, Nutrition & Care and Animal Nutrition & Health, each with strong market positions and expertise to address emerging consumer trends. The businesses will also prioritize environmental sustainability, health and well-being.
Merck (MSD) has signed a definitive agreement for the acquisition of all outstanding shares of Imago BioSciences for a total equity price of nearly $1.35bn. A clinical-stage biopharmaceutical firm, Imago focuses on the development of new therapies to treat myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) and other bone marrow ailments.
Danish pharma Novo Nordisk has announced plans to invest 5.4 billion Danish kroner to expand its existing facilities in Bagsværd. The project will establish extra R&D capacity for manufacturing APIs to supply the company’s global clinical trials for oral and injectable products. The expansion is expected to be finished in 2024, creating about 160 new jobs.