Emerging Drug Developer: BrainCells


Remember when they used to say that you'd have all the brain cells you ever could have when you reached adulthood?

Turns out, they were wrong.

San Diego-based BrainCells has set out to find existing drugs that can spur the development of new neural stem cells, building on research that demonstrates that the process can have a therapeutic effect on a host of diseases of the central nervous system, including major-market targets like depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. And its platform technology is geared to spotlight the most likely drug candidates from a slate of therapies that have pushed past early-stage safety trials for other indications--a strategy that allows researchers to advance swiftly into mid-stage trials while striking up new research and development pacts with other biotech companies.

That's proven to be a winning argument for a high-profile group of venture funds. This morning BrainCells will announce its second round of $30 million, with MedImmune Ventures joining Bay City Capital, Oxford Bioscience Partners, Technology Partners, Pappas Ventures and Neuro Ventures in the round. Their money goes to the mid-stage development of BrainCells' lead candidate--BCI-540--and the hunt for more therapies that can advance quickly into Phase II. Article