Wren Therapeutics has announced the completion of a Series A financing round totalling £18 million.

This investment will enable the company to accelerate its pipeline for protein misfolding diseases, of which there are more than 50 in total, by incorporating world-renowned scientific founders whose collective publications in leading journals total over 1,000 articles.

Wren is focused on drug discovery and development for protein misfolding diseases, for which “current strategies - in particular those driven by traditional drug discovery and biological approaches - have proven, at least to date, to be ineffective” explains Samuel Cohen, one of Wren’s founders, who will become the permanent chief executive.

Protein molecules form the machinery that carries out all of the executive functions in living systems. However, proteins sometimes malfunction and become misfolded, leading to a complex chain of molecular events that can ultimately cause long lasting damage in the patient and can lead to fatality. This group of medical disorders are known as protein misfolding diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and motor neurone diseases.

Commenting further Cohen said: “Wren’s new and unique approach is instead built on concepts from the physical sciences and focuses on the chemical kinetics of the protein misfolding process, creating a predictive and quantitatively driven platform that has the potential to radically advance drug discovery in this class of diseases.”

The international syndicate was led by The Baupost Group, with participation from LifeForce Capital and a number of high net worth individual investors.