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Mithridion, Inc. Announces $1.25 Million in New Funding and Outlines Strategy for Central Nervous System Drug Development

1/11/2011 6:59:57 AM

MADISON, Wis. and TOLEDO, Ohio, Jan. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mithridion, Inc., a privately-owned clinical stage drug development company focusing on serious Central Nervous System disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, announces that it has secured commitments of $1.25 million in new funding.

Venture Investors (VI Madison, Wis.), The State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB Madison, Wis.), and Rocket Venture Fund (Toledo, Ohio) participated in the latest funding.

"We plan to use this new funding to explore additional niche disease targets for MCD-386CR, our lead clinical drug candidate, which is a new strategy for the company, to seek partners for our drug candidates MCD-386CR and MI-10-022 for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and schizophrenia, and to augment our science advisory board and board of directors," said Trevor M. Twose, Ph.D., the company's Chief Executive. "We greatly appreciate the continued confidence of our shareholders," he added.

Mithridion intends to develop its drug candidates for AD and schizophrenia in partnership with pharmaceutical or biopharmaceutical companies with the technical, manufacturing and commercial resources to address these major market opportunities.

As a new part of its strategy, Mithridion is actively exploring opportunities to develop its drug candidates in niche market opportunities in serious CNS disorders. Several promising disease targets have been identified and are currently being evaluated. The company believes that it will be able to create additional high value and strong entry barriers through this strategy, which it intends to fund using a combination of equity capital and non-dilutive funding.

MCD-386CR, a clinical-stage drug candidate with an open IND, has "first-in-class" potential for improving memory and cognition in AD, for improving cognition in schizophrenia, and for disease-modifying effects (or stopping disease progression) in AD. MCD-386 is a highly selective agonist (activator) for the M1-type acetylcholine muscarinic receptor, effectively mimicking acetylcholine in a selective way to achieve desired therapeutic effects while minimizing side effects. Acetylcholine is a chemical 'neurotransmitter' vitally involved in many brain functions such as memory, cognition, and attention. MCD-386 was designed to stimulate these and other key brain functions that have been compromised by the deficit of acetylcholine that is a characteristic feature of AD, schizophrenia and many other serious central nervous system disorders.

MCD-386 has completed Phase I single- and multi-dose clinical trials in 55 healthy volunteers, including 29 subjects who received a controlled release tablet formulation. MCD-386CR has so far proven to be well-tolerated at the doses tested. Extensive pharmacokinetic information obtained during the trials demonstrated sustained release of drug substance from the new formulation, and, together with new information on metabolism, provides a strong foundation for further rational development of MCD-386.

Mithridion's recently announced preclinical-stage drug candidate, designated MI-10-022, is potentially a "first-in-class" oral monotherapy for schizophrenia, and in preclinical tests has shown potential for combining therapeutic effects on cognition, a major unmet need in schizophrenia treatment, with therapeutic effects on psychosis. It is a highly selective muscarinic M1/M4 receptor agonist. MI-10-022 appears from extensive pharmacological testing not to bind to other major neurotransmitter receptors, such as those involved in the actions of other antipsychotic drugs. This strongly suggests that its mechanism of action is novel and distinct from those of currently available antipsychotic drugs.

The muscarinic drug targets being pursued by Mithridion were clinically validated by the investigational drug, xanomeline, developed by Lilly.

Venture Investors is a venture capital firm with over $200 million under management. For additional information on the firm, visit

The development of MCD-386 was supported in part by NIH SBIR grant AG20454 from the National Institute of Aging, and the NIH RAID Program. The development of drugs for schizophrenia was supported in part by NIH SBIR grant MH67430 from the National Institute of Mental Health The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Aging, National Institute of Mental Health, or the National Institutes of Health.

SOURCE Mithridion, Inc.

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