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.”