Home Venture Capital Neuroscience and Biotech Executives Transition to Investing in Startups

Neuroscience and Biotech Executives Transition to Investing in Startups

Transition in Biotech: From Sage Therapeutics to Venture Capital

In a significant development in the biotech industry, Cure Ventures, a Boston-based venture capital firm, has hired two former executives from Sage Therapeutics. The former chief executive, Jeff Jonas, and former chief scientific officer, Al Robichaud, have transitioned from working in biotech to investing in startups, specifically focusing on neuroscience. This move signifies a major shift in their careers and highlights the growing interest in neuroscience startups within the venture capital realm.

From Sage Therapeutics to Cure Ventures

Jonas and Robichaud worked together at Sage Therapeutics from 2013 until 2022. Jonas left to start a biotech incubator with funding from investment giant CBC Group. However, he left the project last September due to differing visions about incubation. Simultaneously, Robichaud left Sage Therapeutics after the FDA approval of the biotech’s drug for postpartum depression, Zurzuvae.

The FDA only approved Zurzuvae for postpartum women and applied a boxed warning label on the medication. The approval of this drug has implications for the healthcare and biotech industry, and has influenced the departure of these executives.

Emerging Neuroscience Startups

There is a growing interest in neuroscience startups, with several emerging as potential leaders in the industry. Some of these include Rapport Therapeutics, which is targeting drug-resistant seizure disorders, and Nido Biosciences, which has its first clinical stage candidate, NIDO 361, in Phase I trials for Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy (SBMA). Other notable neuroscience startups include ReNAgade Therapeutics, focusing on delivering RNA medicines to previously inaccessible tissues and cells, and Orbital Therapeutics, a spinout of Beam Therapeutics working in the RNA space.

Increasing Investments in Biotech

This trend extends beyond just neuroscience. Bioluminescence Ventures, a biotech venture firm investing in next-generation medicines, recently emerged from stealth with $477 million in assets under management. The firm focuses on areas such as Breakthrough Biology, Drug Discovery Platforms, Genetic Medicines Platforms, and Computational Biology Platforms. Another example is BIOS Health, a neurotech startup based in Cambridge, UK. It has chosen Bakersfield to locate a high-tech center for clinical trials focused on developing neural digital therapies.

Potential Impact on Healthcare

The increase in interest and investment in neuroscience and biotech startups could lead to significant advancements in healthcare. Companies like Neurvati Neurosciences, a collaborative platform focused on advancing drugs for neurological and psychiatric disorders, are working to improve the health and lives of patients. Their efforts, along with those of other startups, could lead to the development of innovative treatments and therapies.

This trend also has implications for the job market, potentially leading to an increase in opportunities in biotech and related fields. The transition of Jonas and Robichaud from Sage Therapeutics to Cure Ventures signifies the potential for career growth and evolution in this dynamic industry.

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