Toronto, Ontario -- March 13, 2012 -- Functional Neuromodulation Ltd, a company advancing deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapies for Alzheimer’s Disease, announced today the closing of $3 million in additional funding from Foundation Medical Partners.
The follow-on funding brings total commitments of $13.4 million from Genesys Capital, Foundation Medical and Medtronic, Inc. The proceeds will support the company’s Phase II clinical trial of DBS of the fornix (DBS-f) in patients with mild Alzheimer’s. The fornix is a major inflow and output pathway in the brain’s memory circuit that has been shown to be one of the first areas of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s. The company has submitted an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) application to the FDA. Once approved, Functional Neuromodulation expects to initiate enrollment in the study at a select number of leading Alzheimer’s clinical research centers in the U.S. and Canada.
“We are delighted to have Foundation Medical Partners complete our financing round,” said Dan O’Connell, Functional Neuromodulation co-founder and CEO. “Foundation has an excellent reputation and track record for investing in and working with innovative companies. Their deep knowledge of neuromodulation technologies and markets make them an ideal partner to round out our investment group for this stage.”
As part of the financing, Andrew D. Firlik, M.D., general partner at Foundation will join Functional Neuromodulation’s board of directors. “Alzheimer’s Disease is a global health crisis, and yet the field remains littered with drug failures. Functional Neuromodulation offers a completely different approach that has the potential to be a breakthrough for this devastating disease,” said Dr. Firlik. “Given today’s research and regulatory challenges, we are very strategic and selective with our investment decisions. Functional Neuromodulation has all of the critical elements in place -- a solid scientific rationale for the potential of DBS to treat Alzheimer’s, a proprietary methodology and intellectual property unique in the field, and a partnership with the leader in DBS technology,” he added. Dr. Firlik is a neurosurgeon, entrepreneur, and venture investor who has been integral to many early stage companies, including Northstar Neuroscience, Inc., NeuroVista Corp. and Intelect Medical, a neuromodulation company acquired by Boston Scientific in January 2011.
About Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, is a progressively debilitating disease that ultimately results in death. Today, an estimated 5.9 million North Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, with the cost to society exceeding $200 billion in this year alone. According to The World Alzheimer Report, 36 million people worldwide are living with dementia, with numbers expected to double every 20 years to 66 million by 2030 and 115 million by 2050. The worldwide costs of dementia (US$604 billion in 2010) amount to more than 1% of global GDP. Alzheimer's is the sixth-leading cause of death and the only cause of death among the top 10 causes in the United States without an identified way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression.
About Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) uses a surgically implanted medical device, similar to a cardiac pacemaker, to deliver mild electrical pulses to precisely targeted areas of the brain.
Medtronic, in collaboration with leading physicians around the world, pioneered deep brain stimulation therapy, which was first approved in Europe in 1995 and the United States in 1997. More than 85,000 people worldwide have received Medtronic DBS Therapy.
About Foundation Medical Partners
Foundation Medical Partners is a leading national, independent, healthcare venture capital investment firm. Foundation was formed in 2001 with the vision of bringing together cutting edge life science expertise with deep company-building experience. Foundation specializes in early stage investments in the medical device, biopharmaceutical, and predictive medicine technology sectors.
About Functional Neuromodulation Inc.
Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Functional Neuromodulation, Ltd. is dedicated to advancing the application of deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapies to help improve the lives of people with Alzheimer’s and other memory and cognitive disorders. For more information, visit www.functionalneuromodulation.com.
Director of Communications
Functional Neuromodulation, Ltd