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Lucy Therapeutics Secures New Funding to Advance New Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Treatments

May 28, 2024

WALTHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lucy Therapeutics, Inc. (LucyTx) today announced it has raised $12.5 million in additional funding led by existing investors Engine Ventures and Safar Partners with new participation from Bill Gates, Parkinson’s UK, and the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which provided a $2 million non-dilutive grant. The fresh capital brings LucyTx’s total funding to date to more than $36 million. The investments will further the company’s research programs for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and continue its development of a novel drug target for Rett syndrome.

“To make meaningful progress in developing treatments for complex diseases, we need to embrace non-traditional methods. LucyTx is doing just that, identifying new drug targets based on a deep understanding of the chemical and biological interplay at work in disease, and ultimately linking neurodegenerative disease to dysfunctional mitochondria,” said Amy Ripka, Ph.D. founder and CEO of LucyTx. “This latest funding will advance our work pioneering a new class of therapeutics designed to address mitochondrial dysfunction and provide potentially curative treatments for people suffering from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Rett syndrome.”

Creating a “Detailed Knowledge Map”

LucyTx is working to develop novel therapies based on mitochondrial small-molecule treatments and diagnostic biomarkers for complex neurological diseases. Rather than focusing exclusively on genetic factors, the company’s platform analyzes a wide range of disease drivers central to disease progression, including mitochondrial, environmental, and genetic factors. By simultaneously evaluating these drivers, LucyTx’s platform creates a detailed knowledge map for the disease in question, which allows the company to uncover common underlying biological pathways that can be addressed by unique drug targets. LucyTx has built the team, assays and translational tools required to take two drug development projects from idea to in vivo proof-of-concept in key animal models in just three years.

LucyTx’s Novel Platform Negates “Siloed Approach”

The majority of drug discovery focuses on targeting direct genetic connections to diseases. However, this siloed, genetic-only approach has failed to create impactful medications for complex, neurological diseases – even after decades of research. As a result, individuals worldwide suffering from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Rett syndrome only receive diagnoses and treatment once debilitating symptoms have already taken hold, and the impact is substantial:

Dr. Mike Poole, new LucyTx board member and Senior Advisor to Gates Ventures (the private office of Bill Gates), said, “The LucyTx team is creating a cutting-edge platform to identify drug targets by understanding mitochondria’s impact. This platform is already enhancing their drug discovery programs, and I’m excited to support their Alzheimer’s research.”

Last fall, LucyTx secured funding from the International Rett Syndrome Foundation to develop new therapies for children and adults living with the disease. For its Rett syndrome and Parkinson’s drug discovery programs, LucyTx has identified lead compound series for both targets, defined translation target engagements and identified disease biomarkers. The company plans Investigational New Drug (IND) filings for early 2025.

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