Johns Hopkins scientists raise $137M megaround for a trio of spinouts looking to tackle Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and fibrosis
A US/Korean hybrid biotech run by a group of scientists out of Johns Hopkins just scored a megaround of $137.1 million, with plans to advance a slate of experimental drugs held at its 3 subsidiary operations.
D&D Pharmatech has a lead drug going into Phase II at Neuraly. The GLP-1R agonist NLY01 is being studied for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, looking to tamp down on neuroinflammation. Johns Hopkins’ Ted Dawson — a professor of neurodegenerative diseases — runs that operation.
Precision Molecular, meanwhile, is working up PET imaging agents that can be used to track that neuroinflammation. Martin G. Pomper at Johns Hopkins — an expert on translational molecular imaging — founded that company earlier this year.
And Therapy Fibrosis has a lead drug targeted at, not surprisingly, fibrosis. TLY012 targets myofibroblasts and it’s being studied for NASH/liver fibrosis and more. Radiology expert Seulki Lee at Johns Hopkins — who has specialized in GLP-1 signaling in neurodegenerative disorders and TRAIL signaling in fibrosis diseases as well as oncology — is in charge of that effort.
The company has been fairly low profile during its existence — until now. Neuraly raised $36 million a year ago for its work.
Octave Life Sciences led the round, which included Korean venture funds Smilegate Investment as co-lead, along with InterVest, Magna Investment and LB Investment, all Series A investors. Individual shareholders/co-founders and employees from the US and Korea also participated in the big financing.