SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cortexyme, Inc., a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing therapeutics to alter the course of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other degenerative diseases, today announced the completion of a $76 million Series B financing. New investors include Sequoia Capital, Vulcan Capital, Verily Life Sciences, EPIQ Capital Group, RSL Investments, Huizenga Capital, and one of the world’s largest long-term mutual funds. All of Cortexyme’s current investors participated, including Pfizer, Takeda Ventures, Lamond Family, Breakout Ventures, and Dolby Family Ventures.
“Alzheimer’s has been a major medical and societal challenge for decades, and new approaches are clearly needed,” said Michael Dixon, partner at Sequoia Capital. “Cortexyme is approaching an old problem in a whole new way – moving upstream to target an underlying driver of disease. Sequoia is pleased to partner with the Cortexyme team as they move through phase 1 clinical development and rapidly plan for later-stage trials to address conditions that affect millions of patients worldwide.”
“Cortexyme is glad to count among its supporters some of the world’s most successful investors in innovation, both in the pharmaceutical industry and beyond,” said Casey Lynch, Cortexyme’s co-founder and chief executive officer. “Our streamlined, efficient approach to drug development allowed us to move from seed funding to phase 1 data in less than four years. We’re committed to continuing to move swiftly through phase 2 proof of efficacy studies in service of bringing new therapies to patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and related conditions.”
In conjunction with the financing, Cortexyme announced the successful completion of a placebo-controlled single ascending dose trial and a multiple ascending dose trial in healthy older volunteers of COR388, the company’s lead small molecule. COR388 was found to be safe and well tolerated by healthy volunteers ranging in age from 20-70 years old, producing a favorable pharmacokinetic profile and tissue distribution when given orally in a wide range of doses. Based on these encouraging results, the company is planning to start a phase 2 proof of efficacy study in AD patients next year.
COR388 is a first-in-class, orally administered bacterial protease inhibitor that targets a specific pathogen discovered in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s by Cortexyme’s co-founder and chief scientific officer, Stephen Dominy, M.D. Cortexyme designed COR388 to inhibit this pathogen in a way that broad spectrum antibiotics cannot, giving it the potential to rescue neurons from bacterial toxicity and prevent further cognitive decline and dysfunction. If borne out in clinical testing, COR388 could represent a wholly new approach to addressing a disease estimated to affect more than 5.4 million people in the United States.1
Based in South San Francisco, California, Cortexyme is a privately held, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing therapeutics to alter the course of Alzheimer’s and other degenerative disorders. Cortexyme is targeting a specific, undisclosed infectious pathogen tied to neurodegeneration and chronic inflammation in humans and animal models. The company’s lead compound, COR388, is the subject of an ongoing phase 1 clinical development program; additional proprietary small molecules are moving forward in preclinical development. Cortexyme’s investors include Sequoia Capital, Vulcan Capital, Verily Life Sciences, EPIQ Capital Group, Lamond Family, Pfizer, Takeda Ventures, Breakout Ventures, Dolby Family Ventures, and Breakout Labs, among others. For more information on Cortexyme, visit www.cortexyme.com.