The venture investors at Medicxi are funding a pair of biotech spinouts from UK-based Sosei Heptares, which has been fine tuning its expertise in G protein-coupled receptors for a number of years now.
Medicxi is offering €40 million to kickstart two new companies — the twins Orexia and Inexia, which will target Orexin OX1 and OX2 for neurological diseases. The Heptares subsidiary will put its researchers to work on the two projects, identifying narcolepsy as one key disease on the menu.
Orexins are well known targets in the biotech world. These neuropeptides are involved in the regulation of sleep, wakefulness and appetite.
Medicxi partner Francesco De Rubertis will sit on the board to watch over the firm’s investment. Both of these groups have deep roots in the UK, with Sosei looking to build up the Heptares operation under Malcolm Weir.
The VC’s cash should be enough to get through proof-of-concept studies, fitting neatly in Medicxi’s asset-centric focus, which often focuses the money on early-stage research programs stripped of as much overhead as they can.
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