SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Dec. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- CODA Biotherapeutics, Inc. ("CODA"), a preclinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a gene therapy-mediated chemogenetic platform to treat neurological disorders with an initial focus on neuropathic pain and epilepsy, today announced it has closed on $28 million in financing led by Pacira BioSciences, Inc., together with the company's existing investors, MPM Capital and Versant Ventures, and a new venture debt round with Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). As part of the financing, David Stack, chairman and CEO of Pacira Biosciences, has joined CODA's board of directors.
"We are pleased to have Pacira BioSciences join our existing investors in supporting our mission to develop novel chemogenetic therapies for the treatment of neurological disorders for which current treatment options have significant limitations," said Michael Narachi, president and CEO of CODA. "We have significantly increased our cash balances to fuel continued progress on our platform with an initial focus on neuropathic pain and focal epilepsy. The equity investment capital from Pacira BioSciences, one of the world's leading non-opioid pain management companies, further validates our approach and will help us progress our neuropathic pain therapies toward human clinical trials where we hope to demonstrate transformative results for patients."
"We are extremely excited to back the CODA team and their groundbreaking chemogenetic gene therapy platform," said Mr. Stack. "We believe the CODA approach could transform the treatment paradigm for neuropathic pain and help millions of patients."
About the CODA Platform CODA Biotherapeutics is developing a paradigm-shifting gene therapy approach by deploying a chemogenetic strategy for treating neurological disorders. The Company's innovative treatment aims to modulate specific neuronal circuits via adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated delivery of an engineered, inhibitory receptor by standard-of-care neurosurgical procedures. The receptor is designed to be quiescent in the transduced cells but will specifically and dose-dependently inhibit neurons when exposed to a novel, orally bioavailable small-molecule agonist. CODA expects this treatment will produce substantially improved and durable results while potentially avoiding off-target/adverse effects of currently available treatments.
About Neuropathic Pain and Focal Epilepsy According to a study published in the Journal of Pain Research, 10 percent of the U.S. population suffers from neuropathic pain – an estimated 30 million Americans. Neuropathic pain is caused by damage or disease of the sensory system, leading to chronic debilitation and loss of quality of life. Current pharmacological therapies for chronic neuropathic pain, such as opioids, anticonvulsants, and tricyclic anti-depressants, are not always effective and can have side effects, including the potential for addiction.
Epilepsy is one of the most common chronic neurological diseases and, according to the Centers for Disease Control, affects more than 65 million people around the world of which 3.4 million are in the U.S. Epilepsy is characterized by unpredictable seizures and the term "focal" epilepsy is used to describe seizures that initiate from a specific location in the brain, typically in one hemisphere. Focal epilepsy represents approximately 60 percent of all epilepsy (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes). According to the World Health Organization, recurrent seizures disrupt normal brain functions, lead to neuronal loss, and result in cognitive and emotional deficits. Patients suffer from stigmatization, social isolation, combined with disability, educational underachievement, and poor employment outcomes. The Epilepsy Foundation estimates that one-third of people with epilepsy live with uncontrollable seizures because no available treatments are effective.
About CODA Biotherapeutics CODA Biotherapeutics, Inc., is a preclinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing an innovative gene therapy platform to treat neurological disorders. The Company is creating the ability to control neurons with its revolutionary chemogenetics-based technology. CODA is located in South San Francisco, CA. For more information, please visit www.codabiotherapeutics.com.