Umecrine Cognition raises SEK 45 million to advance GR3027, a novel drug candidate for hepatic encephalopathy

Umecrine Cognition raises SEK 45 million to advance GR3027

Umecrine Cognition AB has announced the closing of a financing round raising SEK 45 million (US$4.9 million) in accordance with the company’s strategy to develop and commercialize its lead compound GR3027 for the treatment of patients with liver cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy.

Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a serious brain disorder and one of the primary complications in acute and chronic liver disease.

The condition is caused by the inability of the damaged liver to remove toxins from the blood, leading to hyperammonemia and neuroinflammation. Main symptoms arise in the brain as impaired brain cell function gives the characteristic clinical manifestations of the disease.

The most frequent form is associated with liver cirrhosis and leads to progressive impairments in sleep, personality, cognitive and motor function and subsequently may lead to coma and death. There are currently no treatments available that directly target these neurological symptoms, which have serious detrimental effects on the quality of life of both patients and relatives.

Umecrine Cognition’s lead candidate GR3027 is a novel GABAA receptor modulating steroid antagonist (GAMSA) that acts on the neurosteroid enhancement of GABAA receptor activation. GABAA receptor activation is a key driver for the neurological symptoms associated with HE and GR3027 was previously shown to reverse the neurological symptoms associated with HE in two accepted disease models [1]. The company recently announced positive top-line Phase I data demonstrating that GR3027 reverses neurosteroid-induced, GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition of brain function in a human challenge Study.

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