Lumos Pharma, an Austin, Texas-based biotechnology company focused on developing therapeutics for orphan diseases, completed a $34m Series B financing.
The round was led by Deerfield Management Company with participation from new investors Clarus Ventures and Roche Venture Fund, as well as existing investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Sante Ventures and Belgian pharmaceutical company UCB.
The company intends to use the funds for clinical trials and commercialization of its lead compound, LUM-001*, for the treatment of Creatine Transporter Deficiency (CTD), for further development of other therapeutics in the pipeline.
Led by Rick Hawkins, CEO, Lumos Pharma focuses on bringing novel therapies to patients afflicted with unmet medical needs in severe, rare, and genetic diseases. LUM-001 is a disease-modifying therapeutic targeting CTD, the second leading cause of X-linked mental retardation in males after Fragile X Syndrome. Patients with this defect can synthesize creatine but cannot actively transport it across the blood-brain barrier. They have severe delays in expressive speech and mental development, and also experience behavioral abnormalities, epilepsy and seizures. Due to the clinical presentation, they are often misdiagnosed with autism. This disease is severely debilitating and patients require lifelong care.
*LUM-001 has been granted orphan status in the US and is in preclinical development in partnership with scientists at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), part of the National Institutes of Health, through its Therapeutic for Rare and Neglected Diseases program (TRND). This NCATS collaboration has helped advance the lead molecule LUM-001 as a clinical candidate by generating the data needed to file an investigational new drug application with the Food and Drug Administration.