Wren Therapeutics announces financing of £12.4 million


25-01-2021

Wren Therapeutics Ltd, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering a unique network kinetics approach to drug discovery for protein misfolding diseases, today announced the closing of a £12.4 million (c. $17 million) financing.

Wren is a spin-off company from the University of Cambridge (UK) and Lund University (Sweden).

This financing brings the total capital raised to date to approximately £33 million (c. $45 million). The financing was led by existing shareholder The Baupost Group, with participation from existing investors including LifeForce Capital and new investors including Schooner Capital and Industry Ventures.

Dr Samuel Cohen, Chief Executive Officer of Wren, commented: "This support from both our existing as well as our new shareholders will accelerate the advancement of our two lead small molecule programs towards the clinic for the potential treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and various synucleinopathies including Parkinson’s disease.

"The new capital, alongside our recently announced collaboration with Eisai, is a further endorsement of our unique chemical kinetics platform that has been industrialised by the Wren team over the previous four years, building on more than a decade of prior academic research. Our mission is to radically advance drug discovery for a wide range of protein misfolding diseases by creating molecules that will offer transformative therapeutic options for millions of patients globally suffering from these increasingly common medical disorders."

Progress in advancing the platform

Selected highlights include:

  •     Advanced lead small molecule programs targeting amyloid-β and α-synuclein, with first clinical candidate for amyloid-β in Q1 2021
  •     Announced research collaboration with Eisai Co., Ltd for α-synuclein
  •     Expanded the pipeline to three additional targets: IAPP for diabetes; tau for Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies; and TDP-43 for motor neurone disease
  •     Publication in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, co-authored by Wren’s scientific founders and senior Biogen scientists, demonstrating the predictive capability of Wren’s chemical kinetics in assessing clinical-stage molecules for Alzheimer’s disease
  •     Added new disease area of Oncology with discovery work underway

Board of Directors expanded and senior management strengthened

Wren has expanded its Board of directors and strengthened its leadership team.

Board appointments include Dr Andrew C von Eschenbach and Mr Owen Hughes. Dr von Eschenbach is the former Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and currently serves as president of Samaritan Health Initiatives Inc., and is a senior fellow at the Milken Institute and the Bipartisan Policy Center. Dr von Eschenbach serves on the Board of Bausch Health (NYSE:BHC; TSX:BHC), Celularity Inc., and Radius Health (NASDAQ: RDUS).

Mr Owen Hughes is Chief Executive Officer of Cullinan Management, Inc. (NASDAQ:CGEM) and serves as an advisor to MPM Capital. These board appointments complement the existing Board.

In addition, the company has also significantly expanded its scientific and business operations team including the appointment of Dr Alleyn Plowright to the position of Head of Translational Science and Pre-Clinical Development. Prior to this, Alleyn held the positions of Head, Integrated Drug Discovery with Sanofi (Germany) and Senior Principal Scientist at AstraZeneca.

About Wren

Wren is a spin-off company from the University of Cambridge (UK) and Lund University (Sweden), focused on drug discovery and development for protein misfolding diseases. Wren is advancing an entirely novel approach to address this class of diseases, based on more than a decade of research from its scientific founders focused on the chemical kinetics of the protein misfolding process. Wren's predictive, quantitative platform is built on concepts from the physical sciences and is a fundamental shift from the descriptive, qualitative methods of traditional biology, which have failed to successfully address these complex systems. Wren is using its unique approach to develop a broad pipeline of therapeutics for protein misfolding diseases.

For more information on Wren, please visit: www.wrentherapeutics.com

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