Quarterly venture investment activity into neurology focused biopharma companies is back to pre-2020 level. This is no surprise given the investment slowdowns across all therapy area and broader life sciences. The drop seems to have stabilized however, and emerging companies such as Rapport Therapeutics, Noema Pharma, QurAlis Corporation, and Nido Biosciences have been advancing innovative precision medicines and therapies for various neurological disorders. These companies secured substantial funding from prominent investor groups, propelling their drug candidates and initiatives forward. Additionally, General Atlantic’s investment in Author Health reflects a strategic focus on comprehensive care for mental illness and substance use disorders. Collectively, these biopharma deals underscore the dynamic advancements and investments aimed at addressing critical medical challenges and transforming the landscape of neurological healthcare.
There was $757 million invested across 34 seed through Series venture rounds into neurology focsed companies in Q2 2023. This follows a higher investment total of $948 million in Q1 across 31 rounds. This pattern aligns with what was seen in the previous year: in the Q4 of 2022, an impressive $1.4 billion was raised through 44 funding rounds, while in the Q3 of 2022 we saw $1.1 billion across 31 investments.
Ventures Investment by Company Stage
Neurology focused biopharma companies at the earliest platform and discovery stages attracted $156 million in venture investment in H1 2023. This total tracked upward to $229 million for companies with Phase II programs. On the medtech side of neurology, device companies saw $302 million in venture investment and another $145 million went into diagnostics companies.
Therapeutic Domains in H1 2023
During the initial six months of 2023, neurology companies saw $658 million in 14 seed through Series venture investment completed in H1 2023. This puts neurology third following cancer and ophthalmic disease companies. Cancer-focused developments led with $3.5 billion invested across 69 funding rounds. There was also considerable interest in advancements in ophthalmic diseases companies, which received a total of $897 million across 12 funding rounds in the first half of 2023.
- In March 2023, Rapport Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotech specializing in precision medicines for neurological disorders, launched with Series A funding of $100 million from Third Rock Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC. The company’s unique platform identifies receptor-associated proteins (RAPs) for targeted small molecule drugs.
- In March 2023, Noema Pharma raised an oversubscribed CHF 103 million (approx. $112 million) Series B financing round. The company’s clinical-stage assets include basimglurant (NOE-101) for severe pain and seizures, gemlopodect (NOE-105) for Tourette Syndrome, and NOE-115 for Atypical Depression.
- In March 2023, QurAlis Corporation, a clinical-stage biotech focused on precision medicines for ALS and neurodegenerative diseases, concluded an oversubscribed $88 million Series B financing. This supports QRL-201 and QRL-101 development and a pipeline targeting ALS and genetically linked frontotemporal dementia.
- In May 2023, Nido Biosciences, a clinical-stage specialist in neurological disease precision medicines, emerged with $109 million from Seed, Series A, and Series B funding. Backed by prominent investors, Nido Bio’s approach includes lead candidate NIDO-361 for Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy (SBMA) and broader initiatives for various neurodegenerative diseases.
- In June 2023, General Atlantic invested $115 million in Author Health, a provider of comprehensive care for mental illness and substance use disorders. This investment supports Author Health’s expansion and partnerships with insurance and healthcare companies.