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January 8, 2024
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Biotech Transition: From Sage Therapeutics to Venture Capital Ascend


– Cure Ventures has hired former executives from Sage Therapeutics to invest in neuroscience startups.
– This move highlights the growing interest in neuroscience startups within the venture capital realm.

In a notable development in the biotech industry, Cure Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Boston, has brought on board two former executives from Sage Therapeutics. Jeff Jonas, the former chief executive, and Al Robichaud, the former chief scientific officer, have made the transition from working in biotech to investing in startups, with a particular focus on neuroscience. This move reflects a significant shift in their careers and points to the increasing interest in neuroscience startups among venture capitalists.

Jonas and Robichaud worked together at Sage Therapeutics from 2013 to 2022. Jonas decided to leave the company to start a biotech incubator with funding from investment giant CBC Group. However, he eventually left the project due to differing visions about incubation. At the same time, Robichaud departed from Sage Therapeutics after the FDA approved the company’s drug, Zurzuvae, for postpartum depression. The drug was only approved for postpartum women and carried a boxed warning label. The approval of Zurzuvae had implications for the healthcare and biotech industry and influenced the decision of these executives to leave.

The interest in neuroscience startups is growing, and several of them are emerging as potential leaders in the industry. Rapport Therapeutics is one such startup that focuses on targeting drug-resistant seizure disorders. Nido Biosciences is another notable startup with its first clinical stage candidate, NIDO 361, in Phase I trials for Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy. Other startups include ReNAgade Therapeutics, which focuses on delivering RNA medicines to previously inaccessible tissues and cells, and Orbital Therapeutics, a spinoff of Beam Therapeutics working in the RNA space.

The trend of increased investment in biotech is not limited to neuroscience startups. Bioluminescence Ventures, a biotech venture firm, recently emerged from stealth with $477 million in assets under management. The firm focuses on areas such as Breakthrough Biology, Drug Discovery Platforms, Genetic Medicines Platforms, and Computational Biology Platforms. BIOS Health, a neurotech startup based in Cambridge, UK, is another example. It has chosen Bakersfield as the location for its high-tech center for clinical trials focused on developing neural digital therapies.

The growing interest and investment in neuroscience and biotech startups have the potential to drive significant advancements in healthcare. Companies like Neurvati Neurosciences, a collaborative platform focused on advancing drugs for neurological and psychiatric disorders, are working to improve the health and lives of patients. The development of innovative treatments and therapies is a possible outcome of the efforts of these startups. Additionally, this trend could lead to an increase in job opportunities in the biotech and related fields.

The transition of Jonas and Robichaud from Sage Therapeutics to Cure Ventures exemplifies the potential for career growth and evolution in the biotech industry. Their move highlights the increasing interest in neuroscience startups among venture capitalists and the potential for impactful advancements in healthcare.

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