Eliem raises $60M to take neuro programs to series of data drops

Eliem Therapeutics has raised $60 million to advance treatments for neuronal excitability disorders. The series B round equips Eliem to take its lead candidates to multiple clinical readouts in patients with chronic pain, depressive disorders and epilepsy.

Transatlantic biotech Eliem exited stealth in March armed with $80 million from investors including RA Capital Management to fund development of a pipeline led by the palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) prodrug ETX-810. Less than two months later, Eliem has followed up with a series B round that swells its total fundraising haul to $140 million.

The series B round will enable Eliem to advance on multiple fronts. Eliem will use some of the cash to wrap up two phase 2a trials of its PEA prodrug in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain and lumbosacral radicular pain. Data from the ETX-810 studies are due in the first half of next year.

Eliem’s swollen bank balance will empower it to take ETX-810 to the 2022 readouts while moving its second candidate into a pair of phase 2a studies. Those trials will assess GABAA receptor positive allosteric modulator ETX-155 in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and hormone-related depressive disorders. A phase 1b trial in patients with photosensitive epilepsy is also in the works.

The plans position Eliem to deliver a series of data drops. Data from the epilepsy phase 1b are due in the first half of 2022. Readout from the MDD and hormone-related depressive disorder studies are set to follow in the second half of 2022 and first half of 2023, respectively. Added to the ETX-810 trials, the ETX-155 studies give Eliem five readouts over roughly the next two years.

RA Capital stepped up again to help Eliem reach those milestones, joining with Intermediate Capital Group to lead the series B financing. The series B co-leads were joined in the syndicate by Access Biotechnology, Samlyn Capital, Acorn Bioventures and LifeArc.

The support of the syndicate will enable Eliem to work on two discovery-stage programs, namely a Kv7.2/3 potassium channel opener and 2,3-benzodiazepine anxiolytic, at the same time as its clinical candidates. Eliem is developing the preclinical candidates for use in the treatment of pain, epilepsy, generalized anxiety disorder and depression.