Cereval Therapeutics will start with approximately 10 programs in neuroscience and neuropsychiatry from Pfizer.
After announcing early in 2018 that it would be halting its early- and mid-stage neuroscience drug development projects, Pfizer recently announced that it will be partnering with investment firm Bain Capital on a new company focused on neuroscience. Created by the two firms, Cereval Therapeutics will have access to Pfizer’s neuroscience assets and $350 million in funding from Bain. Pfizer is also taking a 25% share.
The new company’s name is derived from the phrase cerebral revelation, according to Bain Capital Life Sciences Managing Director Adam Koppel. Two of its directors (Doug Giordano, its Senior Vice President of Worldwide Business Development, and Morris Birnbaum, Chief Scientific Officer of Internal Medicine) come from Pfizer. Three of the 10 Pfizer neuroscience and neuropsychiatry projects are already in clinical trials, including one for the treatment of symptoms of Parkinson’s disease that will probably enter late-stage clinical testing in 2019 and one for epilepsy. Other projects are focused on the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia and addiction.
This move is not the first of its kind for Pfizer. In 2017, it spun out Springworks Therapeutics with rights to four of its research programs, and in April 2018 it agreed to transfer some cancer immunotherapy assets to the new company Allogene, of which it owns 25%.