12 Jan Mithridion secures $2.9 million more in venture capital
Madison, Wis. – Mithridion, Inc., a Madison-based drug development company, has raised an additional $2.9 million in venture capital to advance the development of a drug candidate that could stop or slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Mithridion said it would use the new funding for the clinical development of MCD-386, its lead drug candidate. Last year, the company completed the first stage of Phase I clinical trials for MCD-386.
To date, the company has raised $7.4 million to date in equity funding. Mithridion will hold a final closing on the latest round of financing by March 31, and has the option to raise an additional $3.1 million, if needed, by that date.
Trevor Twose, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement that the new funding will enable the company to advance MCD-386 in a Phase I trial, but it also will also support the development of exciting drug leads for Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia in the company’s preclinical pipeline.
Existing investors took part in the latest funding round, which was led by Venture Investors, a Madison-based venture capital firm that has $190 million under management. John Neis, founder and managing director of Venture Investors, will join Mithridion’s board of directors. The board already includes Paul Weiss, also a managing director of Venture Investors.
Also participating in the latest round of funding were the State of Wisconsin Investment Board and Wisconsin Investment Partners, both of Madison, and Rocket Venture Fund of Toledo. Ohio.
Although no new investors were involved in the deal, Twose was thankful for investor support in a recessionary economy. “We greatly appreciate the continued support of our shareholders,” he said.
Mithridion’s connection to Toledo was established last year when it merged with Cognitive Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. and decided to develop Cognitive’s lead drug compound, securing $2.3 million in venture financing in the process. MCD-386 was developed with technology from the lab of professor William Messer, Jr., of the University of Toledo’s College of Pharmacy.
Dealing with Alzheimer’s
According to Mithridion, five million Americans now suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, and the number will grow as Baby Boomers age. The company said the $4 billion market for Alzheimer’s disease drugs could grow to more than $10 billion with the development of more effective drugs.
In preclinical lab tests, MCD-386 appears to replace deficient brain acetylcholine activity, similar to that caused by Alzheimer’s disease. MCD-386 is designed to improve memory and cognition, with improved tolerability for patients.
The drug also appears to activate enzymes that could reduce or prevent the loss of brain cells in Alzheimer’s disease, and was more effective at this than first-generation drug candidates of this type, Mithridion said.
As part of the merger with Cognos, Mithridion decided to concentrate on MCD-386 because it was closer to the clinic than its own drug compound. Mithridion, headquartered in Madison’s University Research Park, can develop the Cognos molecule in its own drug development infrastructure.
The merged companies have an exclusive global license from the University of Toledo to develop MCD-386. As part of the merger, the university became a shareholder in Mithridion.