A potential gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease has just gotten a big boost thanks to one of the larger Series A investment rounds in years for a New York biotech. The funding, for Prevail Therapeutics, provides another jolt for the city’s life science startup scene.
The startup, seeded in New York last year by OrbiMed Advisors and the Silverstein Foundation—a nonprofit organization formed by OrbiMed partner Jonathan Silverstein—has closed a $75 million Series A round.
The cash will help speed an experimental therapy called PR001 towards clinical testing. The treatment is a gene therapy meant to treat patients with a rare, aggressive, form of Parkinson’s that’s associated with a mutation in the gene GBA1. About 10 percent of Parkinson’s patients have this form, according to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Prevail is run by Columbia University neurology professor and Parkinson’s researcher Asa Abeliovich (pictured), whose work has been focused on the genetics of the debilitating disease. He wouldn’t say when he expects PR001 to begin human trials. “We’re looking forward to treating patients with unmet medical needs as soon as possible,” he says.