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Sierra Neuropharmaceuticals Completes $21.5-Million Series A Funding Round
Date:7/31/2008

AURORA, Colo., July 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Sierra Neuropharmaceuticals, Inc., a formulator of pharmaceuticals for direct-to-the-brain treatment of neurological diseases, announced a $21.5-million venture capital Series A financing. Co-leads in the funding were HealthCare Ventures, Morgenthaler Ventures, and Sequel Venture Partners. Other investors include High Country Venture and GC&H Investments LLC.

Sierra uses a proprietary drug development process that makes use of standard implantable pumps placed surgically under the skin which deliver drugs directly to the fluid around the brain via a catheter. The approach aims to help patients suffering from severe epilepsy, depression, schizophrenia and other neurological diseases who, until now, have had to treat their conditions by taking drugs orally. "Many current oral therapies are limited in their use due to severe side effects and possible toxicities," says Daniel Abrams, M.D., Sierra's founder, Chief Scientific Officer, and Acting CEO. "For patients, this means they may be denied access to medicines that could otherwise be of great benefit. Even for those drugs that can safely be taken orally, patients often have difficulty maintaining a proper pill regimen and may take only 50-80% of their required dosage. By reformulating existing pharmaceuticals and delivering them via an implanted device, better treatment and new options can be made available to patients."

It is estimated that more than 10 million people in the United States and Europe suffer from severe neurological diseases not adequately treated by current oral medications and would benefit from a new approach. "We think Sierra's new approach offers a broad new pathway for treating neurological diseases," he says, "and an opportunity to enhance patient lives."

To further develop therapies and win FDA approval, Abrams says Sierra will work closely with both pump manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies. The latter, he says, could col
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SOURCE Sierra Neuropharmaceuticals, Inc.
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