NMD bags €38M to run orphan neuromuscular disease trials

Århus, Denmark, near where NMD is based. (RhinoMind/CC BY-SA 3.0)

NMD Pharma has raised €38 million ($47 million) to advance two orphan neuromuscular disease programs through clinical proof of concept. The series A equips NMD to learn whether the evidence of efficacy seen in models of myasthenia gravis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis translates into the clinic.

Århus, Denmark-based NMD is built upon research into the role muscle-specific chloride ion channel CIC-1 plays in neuromuscular transmission and skeletal muscle function. Expanding on studies run at Aarhus University, NMD has generated data suggesting the inhibition of CIC-1 could improve function in fast and slow-twitch muscle fibers and hunted for candidates using electrophysiological screening.

NMD thinks the mechanism of action is applicable to a range of conditions—and has convinced a syndicate of notable investors that it might be onto something. 

“Muscle weakness due to neuromuscular transmission defects is a core symptom severely impacting morbidity and mortality across a wide range of neurological disorders,” Novo Seeds principal Morten Graugaard Døssing said in a statement. “There is a continued high unmet medical need due to lack of effective treatments and we are pleased bringing these first-in-class therapies towards patients.”

INKEF Capital led the round with the support of fellow new investor Roche Venture Fund. Novo Seeds and Lundbeckfonden Emerge, which backed an earlier $3 million seed round, also contributed to the series A.

The financing gives NMD the means to move two orphan neuromuscular disease programs into and through clinical proof of concept. Positive data in the studies will position those programs to move toward larger, more rigorous tests of their efficacy and potentially onto approval, while also opening the door to programs targeting other neuromuscular disorders and certain critical care indications.

In the critical care space, NMD envisages its drugs being used in indications in which neuromuscular transmission deficits lead to muscle weakness.