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Karuna raises $68m to develop neurology drug KarXT

March 18, 2019 / Richard Staines

Karuna Therapeutics has raised $68 million to further develop its neurology drug KarXT, which is in phase 2 clinical development for acute psychosis in patients with schizophrenia. Formerly known as Karuna Pharmaceuticals, the company is an affiliate of US-based PureTech Health and will use the funding to develop KarXT into additional indications. The $68 million Series B funding round includes investment from ARCH Venture Partners, with participation from Fidelity Management & Research Company, Eventide Asset Management, Pivotal bio venture Partners, Partner Fund Management, Wellcome Trust, Sands Capital, Alexandria Venture Investments, and founder PureTech Health. Karuna wants to develop KarXT, a combination of novel muscarinic acetylcholine receptor agonist xanomeline, and the FDA-approved muscarinic receptor antagonist trospium chloride, which has been shown not to enter the central nervous system.