CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS — January 6, 2016 — Rodin Therapeutics, a biotechnology company applying insights from epigenetics to develop novel therapeutics for neurological disorders, today announced preferred stock financing commitments totaling $17.3M from Atlas Venture and Biogen. In addition to this financing, Rodin and Biogen have entered into a multi-year research collaboration around neuronal epigenetics.
"Central nervous system diseases - in particular, neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease - represent some of the most challenging areas of drug discovery and development. There remains a compelling need for innovative therapeutic approaches. I believe strongly that early collaboration with a strong pharmaceutical company to progress treatment towards and through clinical trials results in a higher probability of success, especially in neuroscience. We are thrilled to be working with a leading company such as Biogen, that has so clearly focused its research and development efforts on neurology," said Adam Rosenberg, Rodin President and Chief Executive Officer.
Since its inception within Atlas Venture's company-creating seed program in March 2013, Rodin has advanced its internal pipeline of epigenetic modulators and obtained an exclusive license to an additional chemical series discovered at the Broad Institute. Important collaborations with co-founding structure-accelerated lead discovery partner Proteros Biostructures, as well as with the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, have also been successfully put in place.
"Since founding Rodin, we've been focused on advancing our HDAC2 inhibitor program towards the clinic," said Bruce Booth, Atlas Partner and Rodin co-founder and chairman. "The Biogen investment and collaboration is a strong validation of our efforts to become the leader in targeted HDAC2 inhibition, and we look forward to working closely with Biogen to advance Rodin's novel science."
Recent publications in leading scientific journals support the hypothesis that epigenetic mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity may have a therapeutic benefit. Rodin's drug candidates also have the potential to treat other conditions, including Parkinson's disease, cognitive impairment in schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder, and the company plans to continue preclinical research to explore potential application in these areas.
As part of the financing, Dr. Samantha Budd Haeberlein, Biogen VP of Clinical Development, will join Mr. Rosenberg, Dr. Booth, Kees Been, CEO of Lysosomal Therapeutics, and Samantha Singer, COO of the Broad Institute, on the Rodin Board of Directors.
"Our investment in Rodin fits perfectly into our mission to bring innovative therapies to people with neurodegenerative disease and few treatment options," said Dr. Budd Haeberlein. "Rodin's expertise in HDAC2 inhibition and epigenetics also complements our significant investment in neuronal epigenetic research, and we look forward to working with the Rodin team."
As part of the research collaboration between the two companies, Biogen will have the option to acquire Rodin at certain pre-defined milestones at pre-negotiated terms, including total upfront and milestone payments of up to $485 million.
About Rodin Therapeutics
Rodin Therapeutics is discovering and developing first in class therapeutics for cognitive disorders, applying unique insights into the role of epigenetics and best in class structural biology capabilities. Rodin was co-founded in 2013 by Atlas Venture and Proteros Biostructures.
Through cutting-edge science and medicine, Biogen discovers, develops and delivers worldwide innovative therapies for people living with serious neurological, autoimmune and rare diseases. Founded in 1978, Biogen is one of the world's oldest independent biotechnology companies and patients worldwide benefit from its leading multiple sclerosis and innovative hemophilia therapies. For more information, please visit www.biogen.com and follow us on Twitter.
About Atlas Venture
Atlas Venture is a biotech-focused, early-stage venture capital firm that creates and invests in life sciences startup companies in the U.S. Atlas is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since 1993, Atlas has invested in over 150 early stage life sciences companies. For more information, visit www.atlasventure.com.
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