Vigil Neuroscience, a biotechnology startup that studies and adopts the power of microglia to treat neurodegenerative diseases, has closed a $90 million Series B fundraising round.
The latest round was led by Vida Ventures along with the participation of new investors like Citadel-backed Surveyor Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, Invus, OrbiMed, Rock Springs Capital, Deep Track Capital, Logos Capital, Pivotal bio venture Partners, and Lightstone Ventures. Existing investors, including Atlas Venture, Northpond Ventures, and Hatteras Venture Partners also joined.
Vigil is a therapeutics startup studying microglia for the treatment of rare and common neurodegenerative diseases by restoring the vigilance of microglia, the sentinel cells of the brain’s immune system. The company creates VGL101, a fully human monoclonal antibody, and the TREM2 microglia sensor, a small-molecule agonist of triggering receptor on myeloid cells 2 that is mediately responsible for environmental signals to maintain brain homeostasis.
As TREM2 not only serves as a damaged sensor of microglia with trophic function but also plays a role in microglial response to CNS injury, it is vulnerable to cause neurodegeneration. With the new funds, the company will fuel its proprietary pipeline of microglia-targeted treatments. In addition to a natural history study on ALSP patients to understand disease characteristics, evaluate fluid, and imaging biomarkers, a Phase 1 study also is set to take VGL101 in healthy volunteers to evaluate results on safety, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics.
Ivana Magovčević-Liebisch, Ph.D., JD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vigil said:
“ALSP is a devastating disease that has a strong genetic link to microglia dysfunction and signaling deficiency. We plan to work closely with patients and their families to unravel the complexities of the disease and rapidly advance VGL101 through the clinic. This financing will enable us to accelerate both our lead TREM2 activating monoclonal antibody in patients as well as advance our small molecule program through important milestones. The remarkable progress our team has made is a testament to our commitment to creating a better tomorrow for patients with neurodegenerative diseases. I applaud their efforts.”
The biotechnology startup will also welcome Stefan Vitorovic, Co-founder and Managing Director of Vida Ventures, to its Board of Directors as part of the funding round.