Funding to rapidly advance Delix’s novel non-hallucinatory, take-home, neuroplasticity-promoting candidates into clinical trials to better treat mental illness and other brain disorders at scale
BOSTON, Sept. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Preclinical neuroscience company Delix Therapeutics (the “Company”), today announced the closing of a $70 million Series A financing round. The round was led by ARTIS Ventures, RA Capital Management, and founding investor OMX Ventures, with participation from a diverse syndicate of life sciences and psychedelic investment funds. The Company expects to use the proceeds to advance two lead candidates through Phase 1 clinical trials, further expand its drug discovery platform of novel neuroplasticity-promoting compounds known as psychoplastogens, and continue to rapidly grow its world-class team.
“We appreciate the overwhelming support from new and early investors alike, and continue to attract top neuroscience, chemistry, and biotech talent as we pursue a unique pathway toward treating – and potentially healing – neuropsychiatric conditions in a new way, at scale,” said Mark Rus, Delix Therapeutics CEO. “We’ve made tremendous progress towards developing efficacious and easily manufactured compounds that have the potential to deliver safe, fast-acting, FDA-approved treatments to help patients in need.”
Delix’s robust and innovative discovery engine has produced nearly 1,000 novel compounds to-date, with several potential clinical development candidates identified. The Company’s most advanced compounds, which have been profiled in Nature and Cell, are non-hallucinogenic analogs of clinically-validated first-generation psychedelics like psilocybin, LSD, DMT, and MDMA. Delix’s orally bioavailable compounds preserve the long-lasting beneficial rewiring of neurons without the risk, safety liabilities, and other patient access barriers inherent to first- and second-generation psychedelics. The improved safety profile, non-hallucinatory efficacy, and simplified manufacturing process of Delix’s psychoplastogens makes its novel compounds highly scalable and suitable for early use in patients. DLX-1 and DLX-7, the first two development candidates to emerge from Delix, are currently undergoing pre-IND safety and toxicology studies to enable clinical trials to begin in 2022.
Senior Partner of ARTIS Ventures and Delix Board Member Vasudev Bailey said, “Delix is at the forefront of neuroscience with a growing platform of novel compounds, a great team, and a novel approach. Delix has the potential to advance our understanding of neuroplasticity, a core component of psychedelics, and its ability to heal. Through its platform, we see a significant opportunity for Delix to develop next generation therapies, with strong IP protection and the potential to positively impact a range of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative conditions.”
Andrew Levin, Managing Director at RA Capital Management, added, “The healthcare system is in serious need of new and improved neuropsychiatric treatments that are scalable and more accessible than first- or second-generation psychedelics. We have been looking for an optimized scientific approach to achieve this, and believe that Delix’s team, therapeutic strategy, and early lead candidates are on the critical path.”
Additional investment funds participating in the round include: Apeiron, Bail Capital, Casa Verde Capital, Dolby Family Ventures, Negev Capital, Noetic Fund, Ocama Partners, Palo Santo, Presight Capital, PsyMed Ventures, R2, Re.Mind Capital, Saya Bio, Vertical Venture Partners, WPSS, and other leading family investment funds.
“This funding is an important step in transforming our years of scientific research and discoveries into innovative treatments for patients in need,” said Professor David E. Olson, co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Delix Therapeutics. “Our preclinical data to-date suggest that our compounds are unlike anything currently in psychiatrists’ arsenals and have the potential to treat a wide range of conditions. Because the Delix platform directly reverses cortical atrophy — the root cause of many brain disorders — we are optimistic that our treasure trove of novel compounds will yield many safe and scalable treatments for improving mental health.”
Delix Therapeutics, co-founded by Nick Haft & David E. Olson, was built upon the groundbreaking discovery of Dr. Olson, together with his team at the University of California, Davis, that non-hallucinogenic psychoplastogens are capable of producing sustained therapeutic effects. Olson’s research and Delix’s discoveries have been widely published in Cell, Nature, Molecular Psychiatry, Cell Reports, and other leading peer-reviewed scientific publications.
About Delix Therapeutics
Delix Therapeutics is a neuroscience company focused on harnessing the power of psychoplastogens—novel neuroplasticity-promoting therapeutics—to better treat mental health disorders at scale. The company’s compounds are easily manufactured small molecules capable of rapidly inducing structural and functional neural changes in targeted areas of the brain. Many of these molecules are inspired by psychedelic compounds and preserve their efficacy-promoting mechanisms while avoiding their hallucinogenic properties and other safety liabilities. Delix is rapidly advancing these compounds through preclinical and clinical development to bring patients FDA-approved, take-home medicines that will serve several unmet needs. Headquartered in Massachusetts, Delix is building a world-class biotechnology company by combining an experienced team with innovative treatment strategies and scientific rigor to address the significant and growing mental health challenges impacting society.