Clinical-stage biotechnology company Proniras has announced the successful completion of a $4.65m Series B funding round for a trial of a new treatment for opiate withdrawal.

This investment will support the Phase I clinical study of PRN-001-01 (tezampanel), a new therapy for opiate withdrawal.

The company’s lead programme, tezampanel, is a compound designed to modulate glutaminergic signalling and address opioid addiction recovery.

Tezampanel’s mechanism of action is aimed at reducing brain over-activation in circuits involved in drug withdrawal, addiction, and mental illness, without directly stimulating or antagonising the opioid system.

This approach could significantly improve the treatment of opiate withdrawal syndrome and opioid overdoses, as well as support the conversion to long-term medications assisting patients in achieving full remission.

The funding is part of an ongoing effort to secure up to $9m in the Series B round for the company’s research and development initiatives.

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Funds managed by Accelerator Life Science Partners and ARCH Venture Partners jointly led the financing round, with contributions from new and existing investors.

These investors included Watson Fund, LP, WRF Capital, and other undisclosed participants.

As a new small molecule compound, tezampanel is set to be the first parenteral therapeutic evaluated in a Phase I clinical study for symptoms associated with opiate withdrawal.

The drug has previously shown promise in acute migraine therapy, with positive outcomes in over 400 human participants, and has demonstrated potential in preclinical models of seizure disorders, indicating broader therapeutic applications.

In 2017, Proniras secured exclusive worldwide rights for tezampanel from Eli Lilly.

With the new funding, Proniras also strengthened its leadership, appointing Steven Gillis as chairman and Atul Saran as an independent board of directors’ member.

Proniras CEO and Accelerator Life Science Partners senior managing director Thong Le said: “We are honoured to welcome Dr Steve Gillis as our chairman and Atul Saran as a new independent director to our board of directors.

“Their wealth of knowledge and industry experience will be instrumental in guiding Proniras through its next phase of growth. We look forward to their leadership and contributions as we continue to advance Proniras through the next stages of product development.”