Getting Cerebral: VCs bet $40M on epilepsy implant development

Cerebral Therapeutics has secured cash to get its implanted infusion epilepsy treatment ready for phase 3 development. Lynx1 Capital Management led the series C round, joining with VCs including RA Capital Management and Perceptive Advisors to give Cerebral $40 million to wrap up a midphase study.

Colorado-based Cerebral is working to improve the treatment of neurological diseases by delivering drugs directly to the brain. That thinking has manifested in CT-010, a reformulation of valproate that is delivered via an implanted pump and cranial port. By getting drugs directly to the brain, Cerebral aims to deliver therapeutic levels of valproate to the central nervous system without causing the weight gain seen in studies of oral formulations. 

“We are pleased to announce completion of our series C financing, enabling the company to further develop CT-010 for the treatment of refractory epilepsy, and to advance our CNS drug pipeline,” Cerebral CEO Dan Abrams said in a statement. “Direct brain administration of our proprietary anti-seizure therapeutic has the potential to dramatically reduce seizure burden and to positively impact the lives of patients with refractory epilepsy.”

The series C round positions Cerebral to advance efforts to validate the approach. A 70-subject phase 2 study in subjects with focal seizures that began in 2020 is due to finish in the coming months, according to Cerebral is running the placebo-controlled clinical trial to show the effect of CT-010 on median frequency of total monthly seizures.

Boosted by the series C money, Cerebral will complete the study and prepare for a subsequent phase 3 trial. The size of the round leaves the company with enough cash left over to advance other internal drug development programs and collaborations with biopharma companies. 

Weston Nichols, managing partner of Lynx1 Capital Management, and Tim Scannell, former president and chief operating officer of Stryker, are joining Cerebral’s board of directors in conjunction with the financing.