Cajal Neuroscience, a Seattle startup taking a unique approach to developing treatments for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, revealed more details about its strategy and announced $96M in funding.
Biopharma companies have spent billions of dollars over decades on failed trials for Alzheimer’s directed at just one target, amyloid-beta. The one drug available against that target, Biogen’s Aduhelm, was approved in the U.S. based on limited data and has not been commercially successful.
There are numerous potential unexplored drug targets for neurodegenerative diseases, said Cajal CEO Ignacio Muñoz-Sanjuán in an interview. Large-scale human genetic studies have identified hundreds of genetic variants that affect the risk of developing such conditions. But how the genes involved affect cellular processes and disease is not fully known.
Cajal was founded in 2020 to systematically collect such data to reveal key molecules involved in neurodegeneration, with an intitial focus on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.