Amgen to invest $100 million in SoftBank-backed Neumora

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An Amgen sign is seen at the company's office in South San Francisco, California October 21, 2013. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

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Oct 7 (Reuters) - U.S. biotech Amgen Inc (AMGN.O) has made a $100-million equity investment in Neumora Therapeutics, the brain disease drug developer said on Thursday, adding that it will also get global rights to develop and sell certain of Amgen's experimental drugs for neurodegenerative diseases.

Neumora said Amgen's investment, along with $400 million it had raised from other investors including SoftBank Vision Fund, will help it bring precision medicines – already used in the field of cancer treatments – for complex brain diseases.

"Traditional neuroscience R&D is constrained by a 'one-size-fits-all' treatment approach, often leading to underwhelming efficacy, high placebo response, and routine clinical trial failures. Patients deserve better," said Neumora co-founder Kristina Burow.

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Amgen, which sells migraine drug Aimovig, in 2019 said it would end programs to develop other neuroscience drugs, and had said it believed genetics will eventually drive progress in the area.

"Although Amgen is not currently engaged in neuroscience research and early development internally, this approach addresses our commitment to remain engaged in neuroscience through external collaborations," said David Reese, Amgen's head of R&D.

Neumora's series A funding round was led by ARCH Venture Partners, and included participation from SoftBank, Alexandria Venture Investments and Altitude Life Science Ventures.

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Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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