September 24, 2023
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Amgen invests $100M in startup pursuing brain treatments


An Amgen-funded biotech company launched Oct. 7, announcing a strategic partnership between the two companies that includes $100 million in funding and global rights to develop and sell some of Amgen’s experimental drugs for neurodegenerative diseases.

Thousand Oaks-based Amgen, one of the largest biotech companies in the world, committed $100 million in equity investment to Neumora Therapeutics, a Massachusetts based brain disease drug developer. It was part of a $500 million Series A capital raise for Neumora.

Neumora is aiming to redefine how the biotech world treats neurological diseases, by leveraging its data-driven platform to treat complex brain diseases.

It hopes to do this by leveraging deCODE, a genetics research company that is a wholly-owned Amgen subsidiary.

“This partnership with Amgen underscores the vast potential of precision drug development for brain diseases; insights generated by deCODE will further enhance Neuroma’s data-driven precision medicine approach,” Paul L. Berns, the co-founder, chairman and CEO at Neumora, said in a news release. “Neumora is poised to become a pioneer in precision drug development for brain diseases and we look forward to working with Amgen to advance promising new medicines for patients in need of better treatment options.” 

The companies will collaborate by applying Neumora’s neuroscience platform to insights generated by Amgen’s deCODE research capabilities, Neumora said in the release.

The collaboration will aim to discover insights into brain diseases such as schizophrenia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

“Our collaboration with Neumora leverages both our unique capabilities from deCODE and Neumora’s focus and expertise in brain diseases to discover and develop potentially best-in-class precision therapies,” David M. Reese, executive vice president of research and development at Amgen, said in a news release.

Amgen is not currently engaged in neuroscience research, Reese noted. Collaborating with Neumora allows the company to express its commitment to “remain engaged in neuroscience.”