Chicago, March 23, 2021 – Emalex Biosciences, Inc. (“Emalex”), a biopharmaceutical company founded to develop treatments for central nervous system movement disorders and fluency disorders, today announced $35 million in Series C Preferred Stock funding led by Paragon Biosciences. Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC and Valor Equity Partners joined the round.
The investment supports the critical work of Emalex as it pursues an effective drug therapy for people living with Tourette syndrome and childhood-onset fluency disorder (stuttering)—two conditions with high unmet needs. Currently, there are three Phase 2 clinical trials underway at Emalex to evaluate the efficacy and safety of its investigational first-in-class medicine, ecopipam (EBS-101). The round also supports organizational operations through trial completion which is expected by the end of this year.
“At Emalex, we are committed to bringing potential treatments for serious central nervous system movement and fluency disorders to patients who need them, beginning with our first-in-class therapy ecopipam,” said Atul R. Mahableshwarkar M.D., Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Drug Development. “Not only does Emalex have a promising clinical trial program for Tourette syndrome, additionally we are making substantial progress in our Speak Freely study which focuses on stuttering. Currently there are 70 million people worldwide living with stuttering which has no FDA-approved treatments. Our goal is to change that.”
Emalex is one of seven companies launched by life science innovator Paragon Biosciences, founded by Chairman and CEO Jeff Aronin. Since 2017, Paragon Biosciences and its partners have invested approximately $1 billion to accelerate the development of novel therapies and life science breakthroughs in biopharmaceuticals, cell and gene therapy and synthetic biology utilizing artificial intelligence. Ongoing investments of up to $500 million annually are expected in these focus areas. Through its unique model, Paragon Biosciences raises visionary companies charged with solving societal challenges and addressing unmet needs to improve lives and the world.
“Emalex’s continued progress toward a much needed treatment for the millions living with Tourette syndrome and stuttering is encouraging,” said Aronin. “Its achievements embody the spirit of Paragon’s mission and dedication to areas of high unmet need throughout our diverse portfolio of companies.”
Additional information on the Tourette’s D1AMOND trial is available here: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04007991. More information on the Speak Freely trial for childhood-onset fluency disorder is available here: https://speakfreely.researchstudytrial.com/.
Ecopipam is an investigational first-in-class drug being evaluated for the treatment of childhood-onset fluency disorder (stuttering) in adults and Tourette syndrome (TS) in pediatric patients. Ecopipam selectively blocks the actions of the neurotransmitter dopamine at the D1 receptor. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, and its receptors have been classified into two “families” based on their genetic structure: “D1” (including subtypes D1 and D5) and “D2” (including subtypes D2, D3, and D4). D1-receptor super-sensitivity may be a mechanism for the repetitive and compulsive behaviors associated with TS.
Ecopipam has been shown to be generally well tolerated in clinical trials conducted to date and has received Orphan Drug and Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients with TS. Adverse events affecting primarily the central nervous system [CNS] (e.g., sedation, insomnia, psychiatric changes) and the gastrointestinal system (e.g., nausea and vomiting) are the most frequently reported side effects.
About Emalex Biosciences
Emalex Biosciences is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing treatments for central nervous system movement disorders and fluency disorders with limited or no treatment options. Aligned with its mission, the company is evaluating treatments for childhood-onset fluency disorder(stuttering), and for children and adolescents with Tourette syndrome. Headquartered in Chicago, Emalex is a portfolio company of Paragon Biosciences. For more information, visit: EmalexBiosciences.com.
About Paragon Biosciences
Paragon is a life science innovator that creates, invests in and builds life science companies in biopharmaceuticals, cell and gene therapy and synthetic biology utilizing artificial intelligence. The company’s current portfolio includes Castle Creek Biosciences, CiRC Biosciences, Emalex Biosciences, Evozyne, Harmony Biosciences, Qlarity Imaging, Skyline Biosciences, and a consistent flow of incubating companies created and supported by the Paragon Innovation Capital™ model. Paragon stands at the intersection of human need, life science, and company creation. For more information, please visit paragonbiosci.com.
Evelyn M. O’Connor