Verge Genomics Completes Initial Financing to Discover and Develop Treatments for Neurodegenerative Diseases Using Genomic Data
Verge finds drugs for neurodegenerative diseases faster, better and more cheaply by applying network algorithms on genomic datasets
October 29, 2015
SAN FRANCISCO—Verge Genomics, Inc. (Verge), a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on neurodegenerative diseases, announced today that it has completed a seed financing totaling $4 million. IA Ventures led the syndicate, which included Two Sigma Ventures, Draper Associates, Great Oaks VC, Slow Ventures, Karlin Ventures and private investors. Verge was recently launched through the prestigious YCombinator accelerator program.
Founded by scientists from the world’s leading neurogenomics labs at UCLA, Verge focuses on accelerating drug development for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and Parkinson’s Disease, utilizing its proven network algorithms. The recent explosion of genomic data, together with an increased understanding of the biological underpinnings of neurodegenerative disease, offer a unique opportunity to develop effective treatments with unprecedented efficiency and precision.
“We are delighted to be joined by top-tier investors,” said Alice Zhang, President and Chief Executive Officer of Verge. “This financing will enable Verge to continue pioneering data-driven approaches that deliver numerous disease-modifying treatments at a fraction of the time and cost.”
Verge will use to proceeds from the financing to expand development on its leading algorithmic platform while advancing several existing lead candidates through further preclinical proof of concept experiments.
Alzheimer’s Disease, ALS, and Parkinson’s Disease are complex diseases that involve networks of genes, not just a single gene. Many drug discoveries fail because researchers focus on only one gene at a time. Using the same breakthroughs that power Google’s search engines, Verge maps out the hundreds of genes that cause a disease, and then matches them to drugs that target the entire gene network. Through its cutting-edge algorithms, Verge can analyze thousands of datasets to predict which drugs will work. Verge’s genomic network approach offers a breakthrough opportunity to identify drugs that dramatically improve patient outcomes and fundamentally bend the cost curve of pharmaceutical development.