QurAlis Raises $5.5 Million Seed Round
QurAlis Corporation, a biotech company focused on developing precision therapeutics for ALS and other neurological diseases, today announced the raising of a seed extension, bringing the total funding to date to $5.5 million. In addition, QurAlis has won a Pfizer-sponsored Golden Ticket, and is now a resident company of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS (JLABS). The funding and additional support will allow QurAlis to advance its preclinical research in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) toward the clinic.
BioInnovation Capital and Viva Biotech Limited join existing biotech investors, which include MP Healthcare Venture Management (MPH), and Amgen Ventures. Along with this financing, Jeffrey Moore, D.Phil., M.B.A., President of MPH and Johannes Fruehauf, M.D., Ph.D., General Partner at BioInnovation Capital, are joining QurAlis’ Board of Directors.
“ALS, the most common motor neuron disease, is not a single disease but a spectrum of disorders with varying underlying mechanisms. Thanks to the progress in human genetics and mechanistic understanding of the disease, we now know of over 25 genes that are related to ALS, with many of them also related to the formation of FTD,” said Kasper Roet, Ph.D., CEO of QurAlis. “Our focus at QurAlis is to develop targeted treatments for the different populations that make up ALS and FTD patients. Our proprietary technology and patient-derived cells, in combination with our team’s expertise in medicinal chemistry and structure-based drug design, enable us to progress quickly toward clinic-ready drug candidates. With the remarkable support we’ve been receiving from our investors and pharma partners, we are on the right path to bring these drugs to patients who desperately need them.”
Commenting on BioInnovation Capital’s decision to invest, Dr. Fruehauf, who is also cofounder and president of LabCentral, said, “ALS is a devastating disease and it strikes all too often. Today, when a young, seemingly healthy person receives an ALS diagnosis — he or she will have a predicted life expectancy of only about three years. My partners and I have followed QurAlis’ progress closely during its time at LabCentral. We believe their novel approach has the potential to change the trajectory of the disease, just as the antiviral therapies did for HIV in the late 1990s; we are excited to provide our support and expertise to help propel the company forward.”
The Pfizer-sponsored Golden Ticket is QurAlis’ second win, after having received its first LabCentral Golden Ticket award in a competition sponsored by Amgen in 2017. The Golden Ticket provides QurAlis with fully equipped, permitted and supported lab space for biomedical research in LabCentral, in addition to programming and networking opportunities. Each Golden Ticket also provides a spot on a priority waitlist for residency and a voucher for prepaid rent for one year. “QurAlis stood out for its overall vision clarity, quality of the science and the passion and personal meaning behind their research,” commented Eileen Elliott, Kendall Square Site Lead, Pfizer.
About QurAlis Corporation
QurAlis Corporation is a Cambridge (USA) based biotech company focused on developing precision therapeutics for ALS and other neurological diseases. For more information, please visit www.QurAlis.com.
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