Praxis Precision Medicines Closes $110 Million Series C Financing Round
Praxis Precision Medicines, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, announced it had raised about $110 million in a Series C financing. The round was led by Eventide Asset Management, with existing investors Vida Ventures, Novo Holdings, Blackstone Life Sciences and OCV Partners participating. New investors included Avoro Capital Advisors, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Point72, Cormorant Asset Management, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Irving Investors, Adage Capital Management, Verition Fund Management and Ample Plus Fund.
Currently the company’s clinical pipeline has PRAX-114, which is in Phase II development for major depressive disorder and perimenopausal depression; PRAX-944, in Phase II for essential tremor; and PRAX-562, in Phase I for pediatric epilepsy and adult cephalgia (cluster headaches).
“We are pleased with and excited by this financing, which supports our continued mission to develop best-in-class therapies that deliver long-term value to human health,” said Marcio Souza, president and chief executive officer of Praxis. “With three programs currently in clinical development for five indications, and additional programs in early stages of development, we are making great strides to bring new treatments to patients in the CNS space.”
Formerly known as EpiPM Therapeutics, the company was founded in 2015. Its focus is on complex and debilitating brain disorders. The company’s approach is based on large-scale genome sequences that have shed light on brain circuits that are often dysregulated in a variety of CNS disorders, including epilepsy, mood disorders, pain syndromes and movement disorders. The company’s pipeline addresses genes that control the imbalance of excitation and inhibition of neuronal circuitry.
The company’s scientific founders are Kiran Reddy, David Goldstein and Steven Petrou. Reddy is a Venture Partner at Blackstone Life Sciences and is on the business advisory board of the National Epilepsy Foundation, the board of the New England Epilepsy Foundation, and the Council for the National Center for Translational Sciences within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Previously, he was with Biogen as part of the Corporate Strategy Team.
Goldstein is the Director of The Institute for Genomic Medicine and Professor in the Department of Genetics and Development at Columbia University.
Petrou is the Director of the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Head of the Department of the Florey Institute at the University of Melbourne in Australia, heads the Ion Channels and Human Disease Laboratory.
The company’s president and chief executive officer, Souza, was previously with PTC Therapeutics, where he had several leadership roles since 2014, with the most recent being chief operating officer.
The company launched in May 2020 with more than $100 million in financing since its inception.
At the time of the launch, Reddy said, “As was achieved in oncology decades ago, recent genetic insights have presented meaningful opportunities to treat brain disorders in entirely different and targeted ways based on the specific genetically validated pathways driving a patient’s disease. We are reducing these insights to practice, to create novel medicines that could fundamentally alter the treatment path and outcomes for patients with brain disorders.”
Finny Kuruvilla, chief investment officer of Eventide Asset Management, noted, “At Eventide, we believe that by combining a focus on therapeutic targets defined through human genetics with novel translational tools and efficient clinical development paths, Praxis has the potential to significantly impact patients with CNS disorders. The company has made significant progress in advancing a broad pipeline addressing important areas for therapeutic intervention, and we are delighted to support the team in achieving their mission.”