Founded: 2016

HQ: Cambridge, MA

Developing the newest treatments for brain diseases using advanced NETSseq target discovery platform.

Cerevance is a private drug discovery and development company focused on central nervous system (CNS) diseases.  The company’s expert team of molecular biologists and neuroscientists have scaled a new, highly sensitive technology that reveals transcriptional and epigenetic differences between specific cell types in mature human brains.

To apply the technology, the company has partnered with 17 brain banks around the world, acquiring more than 8,000 human brain tissue samples from healthy and diseased donors spanning nine decades in age.  By then analyzing specific cell types lying in circuits disrupted by disease and comparing vulnerable and resilient cell populations, Cerevance’s scientists have begun selecting targets against which the company’s experienced drug discovery experts are advancing a pipeline of novel therapeutics for brain diseases.

The company’s lead compound selectively targets the dopamine D2 receptor-dependent, indirect pathway associated with Parkinson’s disease and is intended to generate the positive effects of L-dopa, the current standard of care for Parkinson’s disease, without the adverse effects.  The program is now in a phase II clinical trial which will report efficacy data in the first quarter of 2021.  Cerevance has also begun forming research collaborations with global pharmaceutical companies.  Its initial collaboration will apply NETSseq to CNS cell types known to be involved in two gastrointestinal disorders.

Based in Boston Massachusetts and Cambridge UK, the company recently completed a $65 million Series B financing.

Cerevance’s key differentiators


The company’s NETSseq technology profiles neuronal and glial cell populations more deeply than other approaches, generating unprecedented data sets and insights. NETSseq’s sensitivity enables the measurement of gene expression in even rare cell types and of genes that are expressed at extremely low levels.

Human Tissue Access

Cerevance has assembled well characterized control and disease tissue samples from over 50 different brain regions and across eight decades of donor ages. This growing collection provides an unmatched view into the effects of aging, genotype and other factors on numerous cell types involved in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and more.

Experienced Team

The Cerevance team, including a cadre of renowned advisors in discrete CNS fields, has a strong track record of successful target discovery and drug development.