23 January 2019 | News
Investment will enable company to accelerate pipeline for protein misfolding diseases, of which there are more than 50 in total
UK based biopharma company, Wren Therapeutics focused on drug discovery and development for protein misfolding diseases has announced that it has completed a Series A financing round.
The company, formally founded in 2016, raised a total of £18 million from an international syndicate led by The Baupost Group with participation from LifeForce Capital and a number of high net worth individual investors.
Protein molecules form the machinery that carries out all of the executive functions in living systems. However, proteins sometimes malfunction and become misfolded, leading to a complex chain of molecular events that can ultimately cause long lasting damage in the patient and can lead to fatality. This group of medical disorders are known as protein misfolding diseases. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and motor neurone diseases are widely recognised protein misfolding diseases, but others include type-2 diabetes and many rare diseases amongst the more than 50 in total.
Samuel Cohen, one of Wren’s founders who will become the permanent Chief Executive Officer commented , “Protein misfolding diseases are one of the most critical global healthcare challenges of the 21st century but are highly complex and challenging to address. Current strategies - in particular those driven by traditional drug discovery and biological approaches - have proven, at least to date, to be ineffective.”
Commenting further Dr. Cohen stated, “Wren’s new and unique approach is instead built on concepts from the physical sciences and focuses on the chemical kinetics of the protein misfolding process, creating a predictive and quantitatively driven platform that has the potential to radically advance drug discovery in this class of diseases.”
Professor Sir Chris Dobson, one of the founders of Wren, added, "Wren is built on many years of highly collaborative, uniquely integrated, interdisciplinary research that has uncovered the key molecular mechanisms associated with protein misfolding diseases. I am hugely enthusiastic about our ability to make tangible progress against these diseases and change the course of life for millions of people around the world suffering from these debilitating and increasingly common medical disorders.”
The company has received a significant level of interest from external counterparties in its work to date and across many of the most important targets in drug discovery today.