Neurobehavioral health company BlackThorn pulls in $76 million from GV to treat mental disorders

There are numerous challenges to finding effective treatments for mental disorders. However, BlackThorn Therapeutics, a neurobehavioral health company using machine learning to create personalized medicine for mental health, is betting its technological approach to finding drugs that work will put it ahead of the competition. Lucky for them, GV and other biotech investors have shown they agree by adding another $76 million in Series B financing to the coffers.

Today, BlackThorn announced the close of its $76 million Series B round from GV, Scripps Research, Johnson & Johnson Innovation and a bevy of other biotech investment firms, including Polaris Partners, Premier Partners, Vertex Ventures HC, Alexandria Venture Investments, Altitude Life Science Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners and Biomatics Capital.

BlackThorn has been heads-down the last couple of years on a clinical trial for a drug that could potentially treat mood disorders. In April, the company announced positive results from its phase I trial for the drug.

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    The company plans to use the funding to advance its clinical-stage programs for mood disorders as well as for potential treatment of autism spectrum disorder, advancing toward a clinical investigation in 2020.

    Brian Chee, a managing partner at Polaris Partners, Lori Hu, a managing director at Vertex Ventures HC and Julie Sunderland, a managing director at Biomatics Capital have joined BlackThorn’s board as directors in conjunction with the funding.

    BlackThorn also recently added two people to its executive team. Jane Tiller has joined as chief medical officer and Laura Hansen as vice president, corporate affairs.

    “BlackThorn was founded to bring new therapies to patients by applying advances in computational sciences to address patient heterogeneity, one of the biggest historical challenges in the field of neuropsychiatric drug development,” said BlackThorn’s president and COO Bill Martin, PhD. “Three years later, insights from our data-driven approaches are yielding patient enrichment strategies that could increase probability of clinical trial success and improve patient outcomes. We are grateful for our investors’ support to continue advancing our platform and therapeutic pipeline as we build out a world-class team at the intersection of technology and clinical neuroscience.”

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