Promentis Pharmaceuticals, a Milwaukee company co-founded by Drs. John Mantsch and David Baker, researchers from the Marquette University College of Health Sciences, raised $26 million, including $17.2 million in its third funding round.
OrbiMed, F-Prime Capital Partners (formerly Fidelity Biosciences) and Aisling Capital were the lead investors. This is exceptional syndicate of investors, particularly for an investment in a Midwestern biopharmaceutical company.
The investment will finance key clinical trials of Promentis’ most promising compound targeting neuropsychiatric disorders.
“This unique compound is one of the first attempts to treat central nervous system disorders by targeting glutamate release by astrocytes,” Baker said. “This is groundbreaking because glutamate is one of the most powerful regulators of brain function, and astrocytes are the most abundant cell in the brain.”
By targeting glutamate release by the most abundant cell in the brain, their approach may be effective against a wide range of CNS disorders.
This is also an important example of the return on investment in government-funded research at the university level – Baker and Mantsch have been funded by the NIH for more than 15 years.