FundaMental Pharma GmbH, a preclinical neuroscience company spun out of Heidelberg University in Germany, has launched with €10 million ($10.4 million) in seed financing.
The funding was led by BioGeneration Ventures (BGV) and Thuja Capital, with participation from other investors, including coparion and High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF).
Built on the research of Hilmar Bading and Jing Yan, which was published in Science, the founders of FundaMental Pharma have identified first-in-class small molecule inhibitors for treatment of a range of neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Huntington’s disease.
FundaMental Pharma’s approach relies on separating the normal neuroprotective effect of synaptic glutamate from its neurotoxic extra-synaptic actions, which are eliminated by the inhibitors.
‘Milestone in neuropharmacology’
“I am convinced that the successful development of FundaMental’s small molecule inhibitors will mark a milestone in neuropharmacology and possibly beyond,” said Thomas Schulze, CEO and co-founder of FundaMental Pharma.
“It has been a privilege to have worked with Professor Bading`s team since 2010 and to have put together such a strong leadership team. Having found visionary investors whose aims are aligned with the founder’s goals of stopping neurodegeneration, this vision can now become reality after many years of dedication and persistence.”
“It is probably no exaggeration to call the discovery of the new therapeutic principle of ‘inhibition of an extra-synaptic glutamate-activated death signaling complex’ a breakthrough in neuroscience,” said Bading, director of the Department of Neurobiology and the Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences at Heidelberg University and co-founder of FundaMental Pharma.
“These inhibitors have the potential to revolutionize therapies for currently untreatable neurodegenerative diseases and offer hope to many affected and suffering patients.”