Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Biotech: Link Medicine and Neurodegenerative Disorders

From a company press release:

September 30, 2008

Media Contact:
Greg Kelley, Feinstein Kean Healthcare
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Link Medicine Completes $40 million Series C Financing to Accelerate Development of First Disease-Modifying Treatments for Neurodegenerative Disorders

Co-led by Clarus Ventures and SV Life Sciences,the Financing will Advance Preclinical and Clinical Programs

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Link Medicine Corporation, a privately held biotechnology company advancing novel approaches for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, announced today that it has obtained $40 million of Series C equity financing to help move its lead preclinical programs into human clinical testing. The round was funded by two leading biotechnology investors - Clarus Ventures and SV Life Sciences.

Link Medicine, founded in March 2005, is focused on developing the first disease-modifying therapies for the treatment of several neurodegenerative diseases - including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The company is pursuing innovative approaches to target a common feature of these disorders - the buildup in nerve cells of incorrectly folded, aggregated and ultimately neurotoxic proteins.

Link Medicine's development programs build on groundbreaking discoveries made in the laboratory of Link Medicine's Chief Scientific Officer Peter T. Lansbury, Jr., Ph.D., a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Morris K. Udall Research Center of Excellence in Parkinson's Disease at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. Lansbury is a leader in the scientific understanding of protein misfolding and aggregation in neurodegeneration.

"Despite advances in our understanding how these conditions progress, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease continue to exert a devastating toll on patients and their families," said Adam J. Rosenberg, Link Medicine's Chief Executive Officer. "Link Medicine was established to bring sharp focus to the most pressing need these patients face - for therapies not only designed to alleviate disease symptoms, but to modify the course of the disease. The strong backing of Clarus Ventures and SV Life Sciences both validates the progress we have made to date, and accelerates our path to the clinic."

Michael Ross, Managing Partner of SV Life Sciences, said: "The company's scientific platform is unique because of its potential applicability across a wide spectrum of conditions, including more prevalent conditions like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, and a wide range of orphan indications where protein misfolding and aggregation play a critical role."

Nick Galakatos, Managing Director of Clarus Ventures added: "The approach taken by Link to modify the course of neurodegenerative disease is a novel way to tackle Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. It is particularly attractive because it can be potentially used as a monotherapy, or as a complementary combination with other medicines."

As of the closing of the Series C financing, the Link Medicine Board of Directors is comprised of the following members:

Nick Galakatos, Managing Director, Clarus Ventures
David Guyer, Venture Partner, SV Life Sciences
Peter Lansbury, Chief Scientific Officer
Adam Rosenberg, Chief Executive Officer
Michael Ross, Managing Partner, SV Life Sciences
Edward Scolnick, Director of Psychiatry Initiative at the Broad Institute

About Link Medicine

Link Medicine is advancing disease-modifying technologies targeted at Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases where current symptomatic therapies are limited in efficacy or duration, and at orphan indications which lack any meaningful symptomatic treatments. Link was founded by Chief Scientific Officer Peter T. Lansbury, Jr., a leading neuroscience researcher from Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women's Hospital with a focus on protein misfolding and aggregation in neurodegeneration. The founding investment in Link was made by Edward I. Rudman, a prominent Boston-based business executive and philanthropist, who previously served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. Link has raised a total of $56.5 million in equity financings to date. Major investors include Clarus Ventures, SV Life Sciences, Endurance Investments Limited, Biogen Idec New Ventures, and private individuals. Link is based in Cambridge, MA.


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