EuMentis Therapeutics Inc. Announces the First Closing of a Targeted $40M Series B Financing to Advance Novel Therapeutics to Treat Autism Spectrum Disorder, Tourette Syndrome and Traumatic Brain Injury
BOSTON, Feb. 15, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- EuMentis Therapeutics Inc. (“EuMentis”), a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, including its lead clinical-stage programs for ASD and TS, today announced the closing of $20 million of a targeted $40 million Series B financing from a private family office. EuMentis is in active discussion with other investors to complete its Series B round.
EuMentis will use the proceeds from the $20 million financing to: 1) advance its lead clinical candidate EM-113, a novel uncompetitive fast-off N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) agonist, into a Phase 2 clinical trial in a subset of ASD patients with elevated glutamate levels in the brain, and 2) accelerate the development of its earlier-stage fast-off NMDAR antagonist product candidates through IND filing and completion of Phase 1 clinical trials. The active ingredient in EM-113 has been shown previously in a placebo-controlled trial to be safe and effective in pediatric ASD patients using a proprietary imaging biomarker to select responder patients. The complete Series B financing will enable EuMentis to conduct an additional randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 2 clinical trial of EM-221, its best-in-class PDE10A inhibitor, in TS patients. Both clinical studies are expected to start in the 2nd half of the year.
Mark Tepper, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of EuMentis Therapeutics, stated, “This financing represents a major step forward for EuMentis and allows us to advance our vision of becoming a pharmaceutical company focused on neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental conditions with high unmet need and few or no approved therapeutic options. EuMentis has a highly experienced team in place with deep expertise and a proven track record of delivering transformative medicines. We believe that EuMentis’ novel therapies have the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life of patients suffering rom autism, Tourette syndrome and traumatic brain injury, and other serious neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopment conditions. We likewise look forward to advancing EM-221 into a randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 2 clinical study for Tourette syndrome with additional Series B capital.”
About EM-113 for Autism Spectrum Disorder
“Patients with autism spectrum disorder suffer with problems of communication and behavior, which, at present, cannot be effectively treated with any approved medications. Hundreds of thousands of children and their families are desperately in need of better medical care to treat this disorder. Based on our novel biomarker-driven patient selection strategy derived from recent compelling clinical data, EM-113 has the potential to be the first therapy to treat a core symptom of autism spectrum disorder. We are delighted to be able to move quickly into Phase 2 with EM-113 in the second half of the year,” said Randall Marshall, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at EuMentis.
About EuMentis’ Preclinical, Next-Generation NMDAR Antagonists for Traumatic Brain Injury
In addition to EM-113, EuMentis is developing novel, next-generation NMDAR antagonist product candidates with fast-off kinetics important for minimizing side effects often seen with other NMDAR antagonists like ketamine and dizocilpine (MK-801). Supported by its recently announced $3 million grant award from the U.S. Department of Defense, EuMentis is evaluating these product candidates in preclinical studies using a large animal model for traumatic brain injury in 2023 and plans to select a lead candidate for TBI and advance it into Phase 1 study in 2024.
About EM-221 for Tourette Syndrome
Children and adults with TS experience involuntary repetitive movements, vocalize sounds or words that they cannot control, and often struggle with other serious neuropsychiatric conditions. High levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine are believed to cause the unwanted movements and vocalizations that characterize TS. EM-221 is designed to precisely modulate dopaminergic brain circuits implicated in TS.
Dr. Marshall stated, “Because its mechanism of action is highly specific to the brain’s movement centers, we expect EM-221 to have a much more favorable safety profile than antipsychotics, which are currently approved for Tourette syndrome, but are associated with serious and sometimes long-term side effects. A safe and effective drug to treat TS would represent a major advance for patients.”
EuMentis Therapeutics Inc. is a privately held clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental conditions with high unmet need. The company’s most advanced product candidate, EM-221, is a best-in-class oral PDE10A inhibitor designed to modulate the dopamine D2 pathway specifically in the striatum. EuMentis plans to initiate a Phase 2 study of EM-221 for the treatment of Tourette syndrome in the second half of 2023. EuMentis is also developing EM-113, an uncompetitive fast-off NMDA receptor antagonist for the treatment of autism spectrum disorder patients with elevated brain glutamate levels as determined by using its proprietary biomarker patient selection strategy. EuMentis is also expanding its pipeline through the development of novel fast-off NMDAR antagonists for treatment of multiple conditions in which elevated glutamate levels contribute to the pathophysiology, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), at present funded by an award from the United States Department of Defense, autism, and other neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental conditions. EuMentis was founded in 2019 with the mission to develop novel therapies to improve the quality of life of patients suffering from central nervous system disorders.
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