Amgen, Neumora Partner to Develop Precision Therapies for ALS

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by Patricia Inácio, PhD |

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Amgen and Neumora Therapeutics announced that they are collaborating to develop precision therapies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other brain diseases.

The partnership will leverage each of the company’s expertise, with the goal of bringing to the market effective therapies targeted at those patients most likely to respond to them.

Specifically, it will leverage Neumora’s precision neuroscience platform and Amgen’s deCODE genetics to identify genetic risk factors for diseases like ALS and schizophrenia.

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“Our collaboration with Neumora leverages both our unique capabilities from deCODE and Neumora’s focus and expertise in brain diseases to discover and develop potentially best-in-class precision therapies,” David M. Reese, MD, executive vice president of research and development at Amgen, said in a company press release.

“This partnership with Amgen underscores the vast potential of precision drug development for brain diseases; insights generated by deCODE will further enhance Neumora’s data-driven precision medicine approach,” added Paul L. Berns, co-founder, chairman and CEO at Neumora.

It is increasing recognized that brain diseases are driven by a multitude of mechanisms that these can be patient-specific, highlighting the potential of precision medicines for them.

Neumora’s proprietary precision neuroscience platform was designed to identify different patient and disease patterns for targeted therapy development. The company’s platform is based on Data Biopsy Signatures, a map of the different players driving specific brain diseases by integrating data from genetic, imaging, digital, and clinical studies.

Understanding each player individually and how they interact with each other can be used to define subgroups of patients for given therapies.

“Although Amgen is not currently engaged in neuroscience research and early development internally … we are excited to work with Neumora to propel R&D [research and development] for brain diseases into the future and advance promising new medicines,” Reese said.

As part of this collaboration, Neumora received a $100 million equity investment from Amgen and acquired exclusive global rights to develop its pipeline of compounds targeting casein kinase 1 delta and glucocerebrosidase, both known to play a role in ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases.