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Three reasons We believe in Stalicla

Dec 21, 2021


Owen Funk


Stalicla is changing how we treat neurodevelopmental disorders

Over 10% of children in the US and EU are diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disorder (NDD), and this figure continues to increase as our understanding of NDDs grows. These include diagnoses like autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention deficit disorder (ADHD) and intellectual disability. However, these broad classifications fail to describe the complex neurobiology that underpins these afflictions, and as a result treatments are generic and ineffective. Treatment of NDDs incurs massive costs, over $1 trillion annually, and yet there remains a complete lack of pharmaceutical interventions tailored specifically to the molecular mechanisms at the root of these disorders.

Stalicla has developed a truly transformational solution to this pressing problem. Through highly sophisticated data integration and processing they are developing tailored precision therapies that get at the root cause of NDDs, and eschews the antiquated mode of generalized classification that has stymied treatment of neurological disorders for a century.


Previous NDD classification has traditionally been done on the basis of behavior. However this misses the biology at play that causes the many varied symptoms seen in the clinic, many of which can have completely different biological roots despite similar presentations. As a result, promising pharmaceuticals never make it out of clinical trials due to mixed results; they are trying to treat a large, diverse, and likely unrelated patient group with the same drug.

To overcome this critical roadblock, Stalicla has developed DEPI, or Databased Endophenotyping of Patient Information.

The DEPI algorithm integrates patient health records, behavioral surveys, and advanced multi-omics data streams to discover biologically similar groups of NDD patients. These endophenotypes are then used for advanced drug-response screening and prediction to find tailored treatments specific to a patient's biology, not just their behavior.


In addition to developing their own treatments, DEPI enables matching of promising NDDs to patient groups that are most likely to benefit. Many of these potential drugs languish in uncertainty, due to the lack of biological understanding. However with DEPI, the right patients can be matched to the right therapies, increasing clinical trial success and bringing sorely needed treatments to market. Already Stalicla has partnered with Novartis to bring the power of DEPI to bear on promising small-molecule therapy.

This is just the beginning, and as DEPI finds more variation and stratification within NDD populations, more drugs may find homes.


Already Stalicla has used DEPI to identify two endophenotypes that together comprise over 40% of the ASD population. This stratification of the ASD population is critical for treatment, and as a result Stalicla has been able to develop a pair of therapies tailored specifically to these two endophenotypes that are showing remarkable results.

These treatments represent over $2B in potential revenue in a sector that is completely devoid of tailored drugs. Finally, with the causative biology revealed therapeutic intervention can begin.


Stalicla has assembled a world class team with the vision to transform how we treat and even conceive of NDDs as a class of diseases. They include key academic leaders in neurodevelopment, veterans of large pharma and biotech, and the experience and expertise to bring this vision into reality. The only way to bring help to these patients is to truly understand the biology that underlies their conditions, and Stalicla is leading the way, illuminating the causes and finding the solutions.

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