San Diego biotech lands $120M to launch a slate of trials in neurosensory disorders

Days after adding some finance, dealmaking and technical talent to the top team, Escient Pharma has taken the wraps off a $120 million round to go broader in the clinic.

New Enterprise Associates, Abingworth and Forge Life Science Partners co-led the Series C.

The San Diego biotech has been turning a new page. At the beginning of the year, co-founder Alain Baron stepped down from the CEO post, making room for Joshua Grass — who brought on a trio of new execs earlier this month: Aaron Mishel, CFO; David Houck, VP of chemistry, manufacturing & controls; and Greg Balani, director of business development.

As he announced their appointments, Grass noted that Escient plans to start five more clinical trials in 2023.

Escient’s specialty lies in what it calls neurosensory-inflammatory disorders, or chronic diseases that result from an excessive response to external stimuli, with symptoms ranging from itch to allergy…
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