UPMC Enterprises’ Translational Sciences team marked its second external investment, joining a $65 million Series B round for Cerevance, a Boston-based VC-backed drug discovery and development company focused on research and drug discovery related to brain diseases.
The company, which was founded in 2016, presented a unique investment opportunity in neuroscience drug discovery, helping UPMC diversify its portfolio beyond the oncology and chronic immune and inflammatory disease areas the team had initially been focused on.
Matthias Kleinz, PhD, vice president of translational programs, explained, “Cerevance stood out to us as an opportunity to partner with a cutting-edge discovery company focused on neurological diseases and to work alongside a blue-chip syndicate of institutional and strategic life science investors. Cerevance is unique in using its NETSseq discovery platform to uncover therapeutically relevant drivers of complex neurological diseases from a one-of a kind collection of human brain tissues built in collaboration with the leading brain banks in the world. The power of this platform and the experience of the team is illustrated by Cerevance’s lead program which is aimed at improving the treatment of motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease and currently undergoing Phase II patient testing. We look forward to helping Cerevance expand this playbook into other neurological diseases with high unmet need.”
Prior to early 2020, when Enterprises announced a $1 billion commitment to life sciences investments, the Translational Sciences team had focused on incubating ideas at UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh, starting five companies which include BlueSphere Bio and Generian. While this focus remains, Enterprises is now actively seeking external investment opportunities to complement its growing portfolio.
Cerevance becomes the second external investment for the team, after Enterprises participated in a Series A round for Werewolf Therapeutics in November 2019.
“We are excited for the future of this partnership and the opportunity to support Cerevance’s mission through our investment and expertise in the neuroscience field,” said Dr. Kleinz, who will be joining Cerevance’s board of directors.
To learn more about Cerevance visit Cerevance.com.