Private equity firm Bain Capital has joined forces with US pharma giant Pfizer to create a new biopharmaceutical company, dubbed Cerevel Therapeutics, which will focus on developing drugs for the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disorders.
Cerevel Therapeutics has secured $350m funding from funds affiliated with Bain Capital Private Equity and Bain Capital Life Sciences. They have also committed to provide further capital if needed in the future.
Pfizer, on its part, is contributing a portfolio of pre-commercial neuroscience assets to the newly created biopharma company. Included in this are three clinical-stage compounds and various pre-clinical compounds designed to target multiple CNS disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, schizophrenia and addiction.
Pfizer, which will hold a 25% stake in Cerevel Therapeutics, said that placing the set of neuroscience assets in a company with dedicated focus and expertise in CNS was the optimal next step. The pharma giant had earlier decided to curtail its research within the CNS area.
Cerevel Therapeutics has been formed with an objective to give more treatment options in a therapeutic area having an urgent unmet need for patients.
Pfizer senior vice president, internal medicine chief scientific officer Morris Birnbaum said: “We are excited that Cerevel will continue to develop the Pfizer compounds, contributing to the broad scientific understanding of both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and fulfilling responsibility to patients with these devastating diseases and their families.”
The most advanced assets of the new biopharma company are a D1 partial agonist which is expected to enter phase 3 next year to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and a phase 2 ready selective GABA 2/3 agonist which will be initially evaluated for epilepsy.
Cerevel Therapeutics also has active programs in early development, discovery along with a research program in neuroinflammation.
Bain Capital Life Sciences managing director Adam Koppel said: “We are dedicated to developing this promising portfolio of assets thoughtfully, and will provide the right resources to enable Cerevel to build an experienced leadership team that is committed to developing life changing therapies for patients who are struggling with CNS diseases.
“The broad portfolio we are investing behind consists of several clinical candidates with unique chemistry to enable specific receptor targeting, which has the potential to drive a differentiated clinical profile.”