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Biotech vets back $22M A round for neuroscience startup

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The former CEO of Alba Therapeutics, Blake Paterson, has put together a $22 million A round to launch his new biotech in Baltimore. Describing itself as a drug developer devoted to finding new treatments for the human nervous system, Cerecor says it has gathered a group of unnamed "accredited investors" to back the company, including members of its board.

The board includes some recognizable faces, including Sol Barer, the former CEO of Celgene. Another board member, Isaac Blech, is credited with helping to establish Celgene, ICOS and Nova Pharmaceutical. The last heard from Alba was a press release back in early 2011 laying out an option deal that Cephalon had struck for acquiring all the assets related to its lead therapy, larazotide acetate, following a Phase IIb for celiac disease. Paterson, who co-founded Alba, was replaced by one of the venture backers back in 2008.

According to the biotech's website, Cerecor is planning to advance research undertaken at Johns Hopkins University. Johns Hopkins' Solomon H. Snyder chairs the scientific advisory board.

"The completion of this financing is an important step in bringing our lead product, FP01 for the treatment of chronic and acute cough, to the market and to support our early preclinical efforts in cognition and schizophrenia. We are delighted by the enthusiastic response to our offering, as it confirms the quality of our company, its product pipeline and our founding team," said Paterson in a statement.

- here's the press release
- get the story from the Baltimore Business Journal