Startups, Venture

Biotech vets launch a neuro startup with $54.5M to kickstart R&D

Kathleen Sereda Glaub

More than 2 years after Kathleen Sereda Glaub and Anthony Ford helped line up a $1.25 billion deal to sell Afferent Pharmaceuticals to Merck, the two are back with a new startup that has rounded up $54.5 million in venture cash with plans to pursue some new approaches to neurosciences.

Anthony Ford

Licensing tech out of the lab of Stanford’s Mehrdad Shamloo, the two execs have kickstarted CuraSen Therapeutics into existence, working on small molecules that are designed to target receptors “to compensate for critical neuronal and glial functions that have otherwise been lost due to degeneration.”

Mehrdad Shamloo

That puts them squarely in the Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease camp, which is one of the toughest fields in biotech.

New Leaf Venture Partners led the round, which included Longitude Capital, funds managed by Tekla Capital Management, Alta Partners, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, and Pappas Capital.


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