TORONTO, Ontario, September 26, 2022 — DAMONA Pharmaceuticals today announced the closing of a seed stage financing round to support the development of its lead therapeutic for the treatment of cognitive symptoms associated with depression and diseases of aging. The syndicated investment was co-led by the Angelini Lumira Biosciences Fund and Noetic Fund and included participation from Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners (TIAP), and several family offices. In addition to the equity financing, the company has received significant financial support from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the Ontario Brain Institute and additional early stage development programs. Proceeds from these financings will support the development of the company lead, AC-101, which was licensed from CAMH, UWM Research Foundation Inc., University of Tours and University of Belgrade-Faculty of Pharmacy, and additional early stage development programs.
DAMONA’s mission is the discovery and development of first-in-class modulators of GABA neurotransmitters that target and restore impaired brain functions in patients suffering from cognitive symptoms. Promising data generated from testing in preclinical models has demonstrated the ability of AC-101 to specifically target and activate impaired brain receptors and to rapidly improve cognitive symptoms while renewing and repairing underlying brain dysfunctions, thereby offering the potential of reversing the impairment and in doing so resolve previously unresolvable symptoms.
“The Lumira team was first drawn to the DAMONA opportunity by the quality and depth of the science being generated by company founder Dr. Etienne Sibille, a world-leading scientist in the areas of neuroscience and neuropharmacology. Over the past several years, we built a strong working relationship with Dr. Sibille which enabled us to see the terrific progress culminating in the selection of its lead, AC-101, which the company now plans to take into IND enabling studies.” said Jacki Jenuth, Partner and COO of Lumira Ventures.
“Currently, there are no medications available to treat cognitive symptoms such as memory loss and inability to focus that occur in association with depression, aging, and other mental illnesses. DAMONA’s lead program and pre-clinical pipeline offer real hope for patients suffering from these devastating disorders,” said Sri Teja Mullapudi, Principal of Noetic Funds.
“We are grateful for the support from all of our investors and supporters who have brought us to where we are today,” said Dr. Etienne Sibille, Interim CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of DAMONA Pharmaceuticals. “We look forward to working with our new partners and utilizing the
capital from this financing to complete our pre-clinical studies and take our program to the clinic.”
“As a world leader in mental health and brain sciences research, we are proud to work with Angelini, Lumira, Noetic, TIAP, OBI and others to move this critical work to its next stage,” added Dr. Aristotle Voineskos, Vice President of Research and Director of the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at CAMH. “This investment brings us one step closer to helping the millions of people affected by cognitive symptoms associated with depression and diseases of aging.”
About DAMONA Pharmaceuticals
DAMONA is a privately held pre-clinical pharmaceutical company founded by Dr. Etienne Sibille and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) on a mission to develop small molecule therapeutics that transform the treatment of cognitive symptoms and restore normal life functions for underserved and understudied mental health and aging populations.
About Angelini Lumira Biosciences Fund
Angelini Lumira Biosciences Fund is a venture capital fund established by Angelini Pharma in partnership with Lumira Ventures. The Fund focuses on early stage investments in North American based companies developing products targeted at rare and central nervous system diseases. Angelini is an international pharmaceutical company, part of the Italian privately-owned Angelini Group. Angelini Pharma is committed to helping patients in the therapeutics areas of central nervous system and mental health, rare diseases, and consumer healthcare. Angelini Pharma operates directly in 25 countries employing almost 3,000 people and commercializes its products in more than 70 countries through strategic alliances with leading international pharmaceutical groups. Lumira Ventures is a North American healthcare venture capital firm with two-decades of experience of investing in and helping to build transformative life science based companies. Lumira Ventures manages its activities from offices in Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver and Boston. For more information, please visit www.lumiraventures.com
Noetic was founded in early 2020 with a vision to disrupt how mental health indications are treated and managed. Through its venture capital funds, Noetic invests globally to build emerging technologies in molecular therapeutics/biotech, digital health, medical devices, and wellness with a focus on mental health, pain, and other complications resulting from the central nervous system.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital and a world leading research centre in this field. CAMH combines
clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental illness and addiction. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please visit camh.ca or follow @CAMHnews on Twitter.
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