Lumos Pharma Raises $34M to Fund Clinical Trials for CTD Drug

Austin — Lumos Pharma has raised $34 million in a Series B round to help pay for clinical trials this summer for a potential therapy for creatine transporter deficiency (CTD).

The Austin, TX-based biotech company believes its drug candidate, LUM-001, can turn the debilitating disease into a more manageable condition. About 42,000 Americans were born with and currently have the metabolic disorder.

Deerfield Management Company led the financing and is joined by new investors Clarus Ventures and Roche Venture Fund, as well as existing investors New Enterprise Associates, Santé Ventures, and UCB, a Belgian pharmaceutical company.

Creatine transporter deficiency, a disease which requires lifelong care, is the second leading cause of X-linked mental retardation in males after Fragile X Syndrome, Lumos says. Patients with this defect can synthesize creatine but cannot actively transport it across the blood-brain barrier. This condition causes patients to have severe delays in expressive speech and mental development, and to experience behavioral abnormalities, epilepsy, and seizures. CTD patients are often misdiagnosed with autism.

“If we diagnose patients early enough and start them on our drug, they have a chance to have normal cognitive development,” Rick Hawkins, Lumos’s founder and CEO, told me in an interview following the company’s Series A fundraise of $14 million in 2014.

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