Tranquis Therapeutics announced the closing of $30 million Series A financing, co-led by Remiges Ventures and SR One, with participation from Vivo Capital, Hillsborough Venture, Correlation Ventures and other investors. With the funding, Tranquis is launching with the goal of advancing a novel immuno-neurology treatment approach for neurodegenerative disorders.
Tranquis will initially focus its research on orphan diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). Eventually, the company plans to expand into other neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The company’s therapeutic approach stems from research at the Stanford laboratory of Professor Edgar Engleman, MD, Tranquis’ scientific founder, which indicates that myeloid immune cell dysfunction underlies these neurodegenerative disorders. Engleman, who sits on Tranquis’ board of directors, said the company’s focus seeks to restore normal myeloid cell function. In turn, that will promote the “effective uptake and metabolism of toxins by myeloid cells and reduces their inflammatory responses, as well as influencing the trafficking of myeloid cells from the periphery to the central nervous system,” said Engleman, who has also founded other companies, including Genelabs, Dendreon, Medeor and Bolt. Engleman is also a founding partner at Vivo Capital.
The company’s lead therapeutic candidate is TQS-168, currently in preclinical development. TQS-168 has demonstrated in vitro the ability to restore a key metabolic pathway research has shown to be dysfunctional in the myeloid immune cells of patients with neurodegenerative diseases, as well as encouraging in vivo effects in challenging neurodegenerative disease models.
“Tranquis’ novel approach targeting the immunometabolism for neuroinflammation shows great promise, and we look forward to the initiation of clinical development, planned for next year. If successful, this could represent a new class of medicines for neurodegenerative diseases, where the need for new therapies is significant in part because of historical development challenges with other approaches,” Taro Inaba, founder and Managing Partner at Remiges Ventures, said in a statement.