R&D Partnerships, M&A, and Ventures – Neurology by Technology – Q1 2024 Review

R&D Partnerships, M&A, and Ventures - Neurology by Technology – Q1 2024 Review

Q1 2024 saw significant transactions focusing on neurological disorders. Voyager’s deal with Novartis for gene therapies targeting Huntington’s disease (HD) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) included $20 million upfront and up to $1.2 billion in milestones. Boehringer Ingelheim partnered with Sosei Heptares for schizophrenia treatment, with EUR 25 million (approx. $27 million) upfront and potential milestones up to EUR 670 million (approx. $732 million). In M&A, Bora Pharmaceuticals acquired Upsher-Smith for $210 million, enhancing its neurologic disease portfolio. Telix acquired IsoTherapeutics for $2 million up front, $6 million in stock, and potential milestones of up to $5 million. Venture investments included Engrail Therapeutics’ $157 million series B to advance treatments for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and rare neurodegenerative diseases. Latigo Biotherapeutics raised $135 million in a series A for nonopioid pain medications, with its lead candidate targeting acute and chronic pain. Neurona Therapeutics secured $120 million in series E funding for cell therapies for drug-resistant epilepsy and nervous system disorders.


R&D Partnerships by Tech Grouping – Neurology Q1 2024

R&D Partnerships by Tech Grouping - Neurology Q1 2024

During Q1 2024, neurology saw substantial R&D partnerships across 3 key technology areas. Gene therapy and vectors led with 2 major deals worth $1.3 billion, including $100 million in upfront cash and equity. Small molecule technologies followed with the highest number of deals at 9, totaling $1.1 billion, with $44 million paid upfront. Biologics, covering antibody, DNA, RNA, and protein, recorded 3 valued at $100 million without upfront payments.

 

Major R&D Partnerships Q1 2024

Voyager and Novartis Gene Therapy Deal – January 2024

Voyager granted Novartis rights to develop gene therapies using Voyager’s TRACER capsids for Huntington’s disease (HD) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Voyager will receive $20 million in upfront cash and $80 million in equity through 2,145,002 common shares. For SMA, Voyager is eligible for up to $200 million in development and up to $400 million in sales milestones. For HD, Voyager is eligible for up to $225 million in development and up to $375 million in sales milestones.

Boehringer Ingelheim and Sosei Heptares Partnership – March 2024

Boehringer Ingelheim and Sosei Heptares entered a research partnership with an exclusive, worldwide option to license GPR52 agonists, including HTL-0048149, for schizophrenia treatment. Sosei Heptares will receive EUR 25 million (approx. $27 million) upfront and EUR 60 million (approx. $66 million) in option exercise fees. Additionally, Sosei Heptares is eligible for up to EUR 670 million (approx. $732 million) in development and milestones.

Praxis and Tenacia Ulixacaltamide Deal – January 2024

Praxis granted Tenacia exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialize Ulixacaltamide to treat essential tremor in China, including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. Praxis will receive $5 million in upfront cash and $10 million in equity in Praxis’s common stock. Additionally, Praxis is eligible for up to $264 million in development, regulatory, and commercial milestones.

 

M&A by Tech Grouping – Neurology 2024 Q1

During Q1 2024, neurology had 1 notable M&A transaction in the small molecule technology valued at $210 million, including contingents.


Prominent M&A’s Q1 2024

Mediforum and Vision Sensing SPAC Merger – January 2024

Mediforum is reverse merging with Vision Sensing Acquisition Corp in a SPAC transaction. The combined company will be listed on NASDAQ under a new ticker. The pre-money enterprise value is $250 million, with an additional $50 million in PIPE equity or debt financing. Vision Sensing extended the acquisition deadline to May 3, 2024, and then to June 3, 2024.

Bora Pharmaceuticals Acquiring Upsher-Smith – January 2024

Bora Pharmaceuticals is acquiring Upsher-Smith, whose lead assets include Approved Klor-Con, Vagifem, and Vogelxo for atrophic vaginitis and hypogonadism, as well as Vigadrone and Qudexy for neurologic diseases. Upsher-Smith will receive $210 million upfront.

Telix Acquiring IsoTherapeutics – February 2024

Telix is acquiring IsoTherapeutics, a provider of radiopharmaceutical development and manufacturing services for bone pain. IsoTherapeutics will receive $2 million upfront in cash and $6 million in 823,481 shares of Telix’s common stock. Additionally, IsoTherapeutics is eligible for up to $5 million in milestones and will receive an additional $0.6 million in revenues.

 

Venture by Tech Grouping – Neurology

Venture by Tech Grouping - Neurology

 

In Q1 2024, neurology saw numerous venture investments across various tech groupings, raising $523 million over 10 rounds. Small molecules led with 7 rounds, accumulating $214 million. Cell therapy attracted $202 million from 2 rounds. Genomics, sequencing, and screening raised $185 million through 2 rounds. Biologics, including antibodies, DNA, RNA, and protein, had 3 funding rounds totaling $75 million. Lastly, other miscellaneous technologies rounded out the investment landscape with $61 million raised in 3 rounds.

 

Notable Ventures Q1 2024

Engrail Therapeutics – Series B Financing – $157M – March 2024

Engrail Therapeutics closed an oversubscribed $157 million series B, co-led by F-Prime Capital, Forbion, and Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from multiple other investors. Since 2019, the company has raised over $220 million. The funding will advance Engrail’s pipeline through clinical development stages, focusing on therapies for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and rare neurodegenerative diseases.

Latigo Biotherapeutics – Series A Financing – $135M – February 2024

Latigo Biotherapeutics raised $135 million in a series A to develop nonopioid pain medication. The round was led by Westlake Village BioPartners, with 5AM Ventures and Foresite Capital as co-leads and participation from Corner Ventures. The funding will support the advancement of Latigo’s pain therapeutics portfolio, including LTG-001, an oral, selective Nav1.8 inhibitor in phase 1 clinical trials for acute and chronic pain.

Neurona Therapeutics – Series E Financing – $120M – February 2024

Neurona Therapeutics secured $120 million in a series E led by Viking Global Investors and Cormorant Asset Management, with participation from various other investors. The funds will advance Neurona’s pipeline of off-the-shelf cell therapies, including NRTX-1001, which is in a phase I/II clinical trial for drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) and has potential applications in Alzheimer’s disease and nervous system disorders.

All of this by stage, disease indication, modality, target…

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