Biotech startup Noa Therapeutics raises $2.2 million in pre-seed funding

Noa Therapeutics
Pre-clinical startup discovers drugs that treat inflammatory diseases.

Toronto-based biotech startup Noa Therapeutics has closed a $2.2-million CAD pre-seed round of funding. 

The round was led by UCeed, the University of Calgary’s early-stage investment program, with participation from Ontario Centre of Innovation Life Science Innovation Fund, Archangel Network’s StarForge and Phoenix Fire funds, Golden Triangle Angel Network, Angel One Investor Network, and NorthSpring Capital Partners.

Founded in 2022, Noa Therapeutics uses a computer-assisted drug discovery engine to find multimodal therapeutic compounds for the treatment of immune diseases. A multimodal therapeutic compound refers to a medication or treatment strategy that combines multiple modes of action or therapeutic approaches within a single compound or treatment regimen.

The pre-clinical startup is developing a group of non-steroidal compounds that target three key areas to treat diseases. The first is immune modulation, which means reducing the body’s inflammatory responses and balancing the immune system. 

The second target area is barrier restoration, which means improving the protective action of the skin and gut barriers to restore number function. The third area Noa is tackling is microbiome modulation by creating treatments that can kill a wide range of harmful microbes, including those resistant to antibiotics.

Noa Therapeutics was co-founded by CEO Carla Spina and CSO Serena Mandla, and is a resident company of Johnson & Johnson’s incubator, JLABS Toronto, which is located within the MaRS Discovery District. 

In conjunction with its latest funding round, Noa Therapeutics has also revealed its board of directors, which includes Maura Campbell, president and CEO of the Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization, and François Ravenelle, president and CEO of Inversago Pharma.

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“Our new board and oversubscribed round are significant indicators of our progress towards breaking the cycle of treatment failures to deliver meaningful therapeutics to underrepresented and underserved patients,” Spina and Mandla said in a joint statement.

One of the startup’s focus areas is atopic dermatitis, a common form of eczema that causes skin to become itchy, dry, and cracked. One in ten people in North America suffer from this condition and often cycle through treatments, face complications like infection, and struggle to find relief, according to Noa Therapeutics.

In a statement, Noa Therapeutics said it is working to advance its lead drug candidate for atopic dermatitis, and the new funding will be used to support those efforts. The capital will also fuel the hit-to-lead phase—which optimizes promising molecules into potential drugs—for treating barrier dysfunction-related inflammatory diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Feature image courtesy Noa Therapeutics.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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