Seurat Therapeutics, a Chicago biotech startup that’s developing a nasal spray to treat and prevent migraines, announced Wednesday that it has raised its first round of funding that will allow the company to begin testing their product in human clinical trials.
The startup, with deep roots at the University of Chicago, raised $750,000 in a seed funding round. Investors include both those working for the startup and other outside investors, including Scott Meadow, a professor of entrepreneurship at UChicago’s Booth School of Business, and the UChicago’s Polsky Innovation Fund.
Seurat was founded in 2016 by Martin Sanders, chairman, Yuan Zhang, CEO and president, and Richard Kraig, chief scientific officer, all three of whom have studied or worked at UChicago in some capacity. The startup’s drug has been shown to stop the underlying cause of migraines in rat studies by reducing the causes of oxidative stress, which cause neurons in the brain to over-activate and cause severe headaches.
“We’re working on a simple solution to a very complex problem,” Kraig said in a statement. “We think this treatment can prevent migraines in the millions of frequent and chronic migraine sufferers, and be the first treatment to address the underlying cause of migraines, rather than just the symptoms of severe pain and life-altering disability.”
Seurat is competing in the Polsky Center’s New Venture Challenge this spring. The year-long business launch competition has become one of the top university-based startup accelerator programs in the country, and has produced notable Chicago tech companies like Braintree and Grubhub.