- Denali Therapeutics, a San Francisco-based biotech focused on neurodegenerative diseases, has added to its already impressive financing haul by securing $130 million in Series B funding.
- The company, which launched in May, on Thursday also announced a handful of licensing and collaboration deals aimed at getting its work on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's off the ground.
- As a result of one of the deals, an acquisition of Incro Pharmaceuticals, Denali has filed an application to begin Phase 1 clinical testing in Europe of a small molecule RIP1 inhibitor. It targets a kinase of the same name that regulates inflammatory signaling.
Launched by a trio of former Genentech execs, Denali had (until now) been circumspect in revealing its R&D plans, only indicating its focus would be on neurodegenerative diseases.
Denali gave greater detail Thursday on the pathways it hopes to target, indicating research would focus on degenogenes, defective intracellular trafficking, glial dysfunction and axon degeneration.
Backing that up, the startup also announced a slew of licensing and collaboration deals. Denali will license global rights from Genentech to a number of LRRK2 inhibitors for treatment of Parkinson's disease, and said it had signed collaboration agreements with the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, UK-based F-star and Blaze Bioscience.
Denali also revealed it had acquired Incro Pharmaceuticals to gain access to its RIP1 inhibitor program, which it plans to put in the clinic in Europe pending an OK from regulators. The RIP1 inhibitor targets a kinase involved in regulating inflammatory signaling and glial dysfunction in the brain. Denali hopes its planned Phase 1 study will give it data to inform future studies in ALS and Alzheimer's.
The equity financing, raised in June, will help fund Denali's growing pipeline and research on its blood-brain-barrier delivery platform. All of Denali's initial investors participated in the Series B round, which was led by a UK-based mutual fund.