Karuna Therapeutics, Inc., a Boston, MA-based innovative clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, raised an additional $12m in funding as an extension of its Series B financing.
The new investment came from Sofinnova Investments, which joined initial Series B financing participants ARCH Venture Partners, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Eventide Asset Management, Pivotal bioVenture Partners, Partner Fund Management, Wellcome Trust, Sands Capital, Alexandria Venture Investments, and founder PureTech Health. Sofinnova will hold an observer seat on Karuna’s board of directors.
The Series B was previously announced in March 2019. This brings the total round to $80m, including the issuance of $5m in shares upon conversion of debt into equity. In addition, Karuna was recently awarded its first U.S. patent for its proprietary KarXT technology.
Led by Steve Paul, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer, Karuna is primarily focused on developing novel therapies to address disabling neuropsychiatric conditions. It is currently conducting a Phase 2 clinical trial of its lead product candidate, KarXT (Karuna-Xanomeline-Trospium), for the treatment of acute psychosis in patients with schizophrenia and expects preliminary results in late 2019. The company also plans to initiate clinical trials of KarXT to evaluate its potential therapeutic benefit in other CNS disorders, including psychosis in Alzheimer’s disease, or AD, as well as pain. Karuna, which was founded by PureTech Health (LSE: PRTC), has a worldwide exclusive license for xanomeline and has a patent portfolio more broadly covering selective muscarinic targeting enabled by the KarXT approach.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance the development of KarXT into several new indications, including geriatric psychosis and pain, progress new formulations of KarXT, expand the pipeline, and continue to build company infrastructure.
On March 26, 2019 the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued U.S. Patent No. 10,238,643, that covers the combination of xanomeline and trospium (KarXT), where the use of trospium is designed to alleviate the side effects of xanomeline. This intellectual property forms the basis of Karuna’s KarXT program being evaluated across a variety of diseases in ongoing and planned clinical work. Karuna co-founder and chief operating officer, Andrew Miller, Ph.D., is a named inventor on the KarXT patent.