Nura Bio is working on neuroprotective treatments that exploit discoveries made at OHSU and UT Southwestern.

Nura Bio, a US-based neuroprotective drug developer based on researtch at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and University of Texas (UT) Southwestern, launched with $73m in series A funding on Wednesday led by Column Group.

Samsara BioCapital and Euclidean Capital also took part in the round.

Founded in 2018 by Column Group, Nura Bio is aiming to treat neurological diseases with drugs that prevent loss of neurons and protect the bond with glia cells that maintain the brain’s homeostatic state and act as a buffer against injuries.

The spinout’s lead program targets a pathway called NAD hydrolase SARM1 that is thought to destroy the brain’s axons, stalk-like nerve fibres that trail from neurons in order to divert harmful impulses.

NAD hydrolase SARM1’s potential was discovered in the lab of Marc Freeman, director and senior scientist at the Vollum Institute of OHSU, and Steven McKnight, distinguished chairman for basic biomedical research at UT Southwestern’s Department of Biochemistry.

Tim Kutzkey, managing partner at Column Group and chairman of Nura Bio, said: “Column Group is excited by the compelling scientific basis and potential of Nura Bio’s emerging neuroprotective drug pipeline to revolutionise the treatment of neurological diseases.”