Roche shelved these psy­chi­a­try drugs. So its for­mer head of neu­ro cooked up some new plans — and raised $59M for his start­up

As the for­mer head of neu­ro­science prod­uct de­vel­op­ment at Roche for a decade, George Garibal­di can per­son­al­ly vouch for the qual­i­ty of what the Swiss phar­ma gi­ant does. But hav­ing worked on psy­chi­atric dis­or­ders, he al­so knew way too well the down­side of a field where an­i­mal mod­els were a poor pre­dic­tion of how drugs would per­form in hu­mans.

So when he caught word that Roche was putting part of its psy­chi­a­try pipeline on the shelf, Garibal­di, by then run­ning his own con­sul­tan­cy, im­me­di­ate­ly took in­ter­est in li­cens­ing those com­pounds. He’d go down a slight­ly dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion, at a start­up even­tu­al­ly named Noe­ma Phar­ma.

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