Miniature biotech Prana Biotechnology has received more than twice its market cap in funding after moving into Parkinson’s disease.

Boston-based Life Biosciences is leading a $45 million investment in the $17m company.

Prana (ASX:PBT) shifted its attention from Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s in June last year, turning its clinical focus to two forms of Parkinsonism with no existing treatments and orphan drug designation in the US and Europe.

And that change paid off shortly after Christmas with the news that biotech investor Life Biosciences is leading an initial $13.4m investment and a possible $31m via short-term warrants, a financial instrument similar to an option.

Life Biosciences will initially invest $10.6m with the option for a further $2.8m to be raised from other investors.

Life Biosciences was founded in 2017 by Dr David Sinclair, an Australian biologist and genetics professor interested in anti-ageing treatments, and long-time investment banker Tristan Edwards.

“We are very pleased to support the advancement of Prana’s neurodegenerative treatments for atypical Parkinsonian diseases,” said Dr Sinclair.

Mr Edwards said Prana’s work on a new generation of neurodegenerative drugs fits their research model, which is based on the eight pathways of age-related decline.

The pair will join Prana’s board.

Prana Biotechnology shares (ASX:PBT) over the past year.