Slater Closes on Second Round of Seed Funding for MindImmune Therapeutics
Reinvests in Promising Drug Discovery Venture Based at the Ryan Institute for Neuroscience at URI
Providence, R.I., August 21, 2017 – The Slater Technology Fund today announced a second closing of seed financing for MindImmune Therapeutics, Inc., a new drug discovery venture targeting the immune system to treat diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). The $500,000 round included $250,000 from Slater, bringing its total investment in the company to $750,000, and $250,000 of private investment. The funding was put in place in anticipation of the launch of an equity fund-raising targeted for the Fall of 2017.
MindImmune Therapeutics, led by veteran CNS drug discovery scientists and longtime collaborators Stevin Zorn, Ph.D., Frank Menniti, Ph.D., Robert Nelson, Ph.D., and Brian Campbell, Ph.D., is pursuing the discovery of new therapeutics that target the pathologic process known as neuroinflammation to treat neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease, as well as neuropathic pain. Convergent evidence including new genetic findings indicate that malfunctioning of the immune system is a key cause of brain disease.
“This is the link we have missed,” stated MindImmune President and CEO Stevin Zorn, commenting on the challenges that neuroscientists have faced in developing novel approaches to neurodegenerative disease. “Reducing neuroinflammation heralds significant breakthroughs in the treatment of brain disease, much as targeting immune activity is revolutionizing the treatment of cancers.”
MindImmune launched in 2016 and is based at the University of Rhode Island, where the company has established a strong partnership with the George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience, the recently established research and discovery center at URI focused on advancing treatments and cures for neurodegenerative diseases. The partnership of MindImmune with URI and the Ryan Institute aspires to become a model for public/private partnerships in Rhode Island marrying the basic research capabilities of academia with biopharma industry expertise to make an impact in advancing therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and other devastating brain disorders. As part of the collaboration, the four co-founders of MindImmune have been appointed by the Ryan Institute as Ryan Research Professors of Neuroscience.
“MindImmune brings together a team of world-class drug discovery scientists pioneering a fundamentally new approach to the treatment of neurodegenerative disease,” said Richard G. Horan, senior managing director of the Slater Technology Fund. “We are committed to supporting the team in the launch of their new venture and could not be more pleased with the support provided by the University of Rhode Island and our collaborators within the Ryan Institute. This alliance has great potential.”
About Slater Technology Fund
The Slater Technology Fund is an independently chartered impact investment fund that operates in accord with best practices of venture capital investing, backing new ventures committed to basing and building businesses in Rhode Island. Leveraging state and federal funding, Slater focuses its resources on the support of entrepreneurs who have the vision, leadership and commitment to build substantial commercial enterprises. Slater typically invests at the inception stage in the development of a new venture, often based upon ideas and technologies originating in academic institutions and/or government research laboratories located within the region. In most cases, investments are premised upon the possibility of raising substantial follow-on financing, from venture capital investors or from strategic partners, with a view toward accelerating the generation of significant numbers of high-value, high-wage jobs over the intermediate to longer-term. For more information, visit www.slaterfund.com.
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