By David G. Barry
The Abu Dhabi Growth Fund (ADG) has joined another Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund – Mubadala Capital – in backing a biotech company that is pioneering precision medicines for brain diseases.
The two SWFs took part in Neumora Therapeutics Inc.’s $112 million Series B round, which also included Amgen, ARCH Venture Partners, F-Prime Capital and Polaris Partners. Based in Watertown, Mass., Neumora will use the capital to support the advancement of its pipeline of candidates for neuropsychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. It recently completed enrollment in a Phase 2a clinical trial for a drug aimed at treating a major depressive disorder.
Neumora has now raised approximately $650 million in capital. It launched a year ago with $500 million in financing from a group that included Mubadala.
In conjunction with this round, Alaa Halawa, partner and head of U.S. ventures at Mubadala, joined Neumora’s board. In a statement, Halawa said Mubadala is “humbled to be part of [Neumora’s] journey.” He said the integration of technology – such as artificial intelligence and machine learning – and proprietary clinical data “is helping us develop a deeper understanding of the complex drivers of brain disease to develop novel treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.”
Mubadala has been an active investor in startups in recent years. According to PitchBook, it made 157 direct investments in 2021, up from 45 in 2020. Through the end of September, it has made 151.
It holds the distinction of being the first sovereign wealth manager to manage third-party capital on behalf of other institutional investors. In 2021, it closed its third private equity fund at $1.6 billion.
ADG was established in July 2021 to pursue a differentiated strategy to generate high financial returns for ADG’s shareholder, the Abu Dhabi Government. It primarily invests in private equity, venture capital, hedge funds and public equities. It invests in both funds and what it describes on its website as “attractive direct and co-investment opportunities.”
Earlier this year, ADG joined Mubadala in participating in a $768 funding round for Getir, a Turkish fast delivery startup. The round valued Getir at approximately $12 billion.