Functional Neuromodulation Inc, a company advancing deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapies for Alzheimer’s Disease, today announced the closing of $10.4 million in commitments from Genesys Capital and Medtronic, Inc. in its latest round of financing.
The funds are intended to support Phase II clinical testing of DBS of the fornix (DBS-f) in patients with mild probable Alzheimer’s. A promising pilot study of this approach was published in the October 2010 edition of Annals of Neurology.
“We are pleased to have Medtronic as a strategic partner and the ongoing support of Genesys as we enter the next phase of Functional Neuromodulation’s development,” said Dan O’Connell, Functional Neuromodulation co-founder and CEO. Kelly Holman general partner of Genesys added “Attracting a corporate partner at this stage is key to the company’s business strategy.” As part of the financing, Lothar Krinke, Ph.D., vice president and general manager for the Deep Brain Stimulation business in Medtronic’s Neuromodulation division, will serve as an observer on the company’s board of directors.
“DBS has provided remarkable benefits for several neurological disorders targeting different parts of the brain. Focusing this technology on the fornix, a critical part of the brain’s memory circuit, opens up the potential for treating Alzheimer’s. We look forward to moving DBS-f into a controlled clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of DBS-f in patients suffering from this devastating disease,” commented Andres M. Lozano, MD, PhD, R.R. Tasker Chair in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery at the University Health Network and University of Toronto, and Scientific Founder of the company and Chair of the Science Advisory Board.
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.
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 80,000 people worldwide have received Medtronic DBS Therapy.
About Genesys Capital
Genesys Capital is one of the largest Canadian-based venture capital firms exclusively focused on building companies in the high-growth sectors of healthcare and biotechnology.
About Functional Neuromodulation Inc.
Based in Toronto, Ontario, Functional Neuromodulation Inc. is dedicated to advancing deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapies to improve the lives of people with Alzheimer’s and other memory and cognitive disorders. For more information, visit www.functionalneuromodulation.com
source:Functional Neuromodulation Inc,