J&J-backed Rapport Therapeutics snags $100M for precision approach to neurological diseases
Published: Mar 07, 2023
By Lisa Munger
Rapport Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotech aiming to develop precision medicines for neurological disorders, launched Tuesday with $100 million in Series A financing from Third Rock Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners and Johnson & Johnson Innovation (JJDC).
Rapport’s platform targets receptor-associated proteins in neurological disorders using small-molecule drugs. The company’s lead program is currently being studied in Phase I for drug-resistant seizure disorders.
Abraham Ceesay is the newly appointed CEO of Rapport. Ceesay brings 20 years of experience in biopharma, as the former president of Pfizer and Bain Capital’s Cerevel Therapeutics, and before that, as CEO of Tiburio Therapeutics.
Ceesay told BioSpace Rapport’s platform differs from others that lack its precision and ability to hit specific targets.
“We think this is going to [allow us to] deliver highly specific therapies that not only deliver greater efficacy to patients but also better-tolerated drugs that will allow patients to stay on therapy, which is one of the major barriers in treatment,” he said.
The platform works by using receptor-associated proteins (RAPs). Because they only exist in certain areas of the brain, they can target receptors in the specific neuroanatomical regions underlying the pathophysiology of neurological disorders.
In contrast, current treatments target proteins expressed throughout the nervous system, reducing efficacy and patient safety.
“The era of precision neuroscience is upon us, and patients’ needs have never been greater,” said Reid Huber, Ph.D., Rapport director and partner at Third Rock Ventures in a prepared statement.
Rapport’s goal is to use this platform to not only improve upon existing therapies, but to discover new RAPs to develop treatments for patients with neurological disorders that currently have no treatment options.
“RAPs create opportunities to develop better options for patients because they allow us to introduce precision against validated targets and access currently undruggable receptor types,” Huber said.