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cover art for S2, E5: Cerevance and a new approach to Parkinson's disease with CEO Craig Thompson and CNS expert Prof Karl Kieburtz (URMC, Clintrex)

Raising Biotech

S2, E5: Cerevance and a new approach to Parkinson's disease with CEO Craig Thompson and CNS expert Prof Karl Kieburtz (URMC, Clintrex)

Season 2, Ep. 5

In this episode of Raising Biotech, Surani delves into the world of CNS and Parkinson's disease with Cerevance. CEO Craig Thompson joins the podcast to speak about Cerevance's unique mission and use of its NETSseq platform to develop more targeted precision medicines for CNS diseases, particularly targeting the GPR6 receptor in Parkinson's disease. He speaks about the company's origins, its unique financing journey (close to $200 million since inception), what drove him to join during the company's growth phase, plans for upcoming clinical trials as well as a potential near-term IPO. Expert neurologist Dr Karl Kieburtz, the founder of advisory firm Clintrex and Professor in Neurology at the University of Rochester Medical School gives us his take on the general Parkinson's unmet need and Cerevance's unique mission to go beyond targeting the dopaminergic pathway. As a company advisor, Karl has a good understanding of the NETSseq platform and how targeting GPR6 might make a meaningful difference for Parkinsons' patients, but he also illustrates what challenges Cerevance will have to carefully navigate to avoid a crowded Parkinson's graveyard.


Timestamps:

00:35 - Partner segment: Mindgram.ai

01:05 - Background on Cerevance's work in Parkinson's disease with its proprietary NETSseq platform

05:48 - Going beyond targeting the dopamine pathway to the GPR6 receptor - releasing the "break" on movement.

07:00 - Cerevance's origin story - Brad Margus and creating NETSeq with scientists from Rockefeller University

08:00 - Initial fundraising journey, CEO transition in growth phase and strategic financing for an eventual IPO

12:50 - Convincing investors on a intriguing yet scary CNS space riddled with failures

16:40 - CNS expert Dr Karl Kieburtz explains why Parkinson's is such a tough disease to treat and the original Levadopa breakthrough

18:50 - Scientific thesis of going beyond the dopaminergic pathway to tackle the GPR6 receptor

21:35 - Cerevance's clinical trial plans for CVN424 as a monotherapy and combination therapy with standard of care

24:13 - Navigating the many challenges associated with conducting a Parkinson's disease clinical trial

26:02 - Pricing considerations and benchmarks for "off-time" and non-motor improvement for successful reimbursement

29:45 - Cerevance's eventual wish to IPO and potential inflection points to pull the trigger

31:20 - Future visions for the company in 5 years time



This episode is partnered with Mindgram.ai, a research tool powered by AI to better serve the biopharma community. Listeners of the Raising Biotech podcast are able to get an exclusive free trial of Mindgram via this link, using the code: raisingbiotech24


For any comments, questions, feedback or suggestions you can connect directly with Surani Fernando on LinkedIn or email: raisingbiotech@gmail.com


Music composed by: Yrii Semchyshyn (Coma Media)

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