News Article

Courage Therapeutics Raises $1M for Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa and Other Related Eating Disorders
Date: Mar 24, 2021
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Featured firm in this article: Courage Therapeutics Inc of Newton, MA

Newton, MA, March 24, 2021 --( Courage Therapeutics, a biotech focused on eating disorders, announced today that it closed a private financing with aggregate proceeds in excess of over $1M. The company was founded in 2019 to develop therapeutics based upon research on the melanocortin receptor system in the laboratory of Dr. Roger Cone at the University of Michigan. The funds complement a Fall 2020 NIH Phase 1 STTR grant from NIDDK for the identification of drug candidates targeting the MC3R receptor with antagonist activity that would be potentially useful as obesity treatments.

Dan Housman, CEO of Courage commented, "I have a deep personal connection with anorexia nervosa through caring for affected family members. A better pharmacological treatment can't come too soon which is why we started Courage. Dr. Cone's lab has demonstrated the utility of MC3R as a target in recent breakthrough publications. We have worked for the past year to design multiple compounds with drug-like MC3R activity sufficient to merit transitioning our efforts to focus on animal studies. The proceeds from this financing allow the company to move our candidate compounds into multiple animal models to measure the effect in feeding behaviors, anorexia, anxiety, and metabolism."

Currently, the venture has identified potential drug leads and is at the pre-clinical phase of development. The venture was initially self-funded by the founders and recently added additional outside angel investors and the University of Michigan's Biomedical Venture Fund (MBVF) as a lead investor in the $1M seed round. The round also included reinvestment by its founders, biotech industry veterans, and members of the MIT Alumni Angels.

"We are excited by the potential of this technology to have an impact across multiple indications. While it's still early, we are willing to take an early bet as the science is impeccable and believe that the founding team can execute to bring this all to fruition," said MBVF Fund Manager Dr. Hirak Parikh.

Courage aims to get a new drug into clinical trials within three years. If successful with the MC3R agonist program a treatment for restrictive eating disorders would represent the first FDA approved drug specifically designed for the treatment of anorexia nervosa. Courage's obesity program is focused on genetic forms of obesity such as MC4R haploinsufficiency, where there are no currently available FDA approved drugs.