The Slater Technology Fund on Thursday announced it is dedicating $500,000 in seed funding to help launch MindImmune Therapeutics, a company that hopes to develop drugs that will utilize the immune system to treat such neurological diseases as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s.
The money will further expand the company’s collaboration with the George and Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience at the University of Rhode Island. The university has committed laboratory and office space for the company’s initial operations, and MindImmune’s founders have received adjunct faculty appointments, according to Slater.
“The tremendous burden of brain disease in human suffering, its high cost to society and the paucity of new treatments are contributing to an emerging health crisis,” Stevin Zorn, president and CEO of MindImmune, said in a media release. “We are delighted to be forging a unique partnership with Rhode Island’s emerging neuroscience ecosystem.”
URI President David M. Dooley thanked “the Slater Fund for providing seed funding that will allow the University and MindImmune to collaborate more closely and to physically share space on the Kingston campus. This proximity can accelerate the innovative and groundbreaking work of the Ryan Institute and advance the goal of Rhode Island becoming a center of excellence in neurological research.”
Said Richard G. Horan, senior managing director at the Slater Technology Fund: “There is the potential to achieve significant and positive impact, within the Ryan Institute at the University of Rhode Island, within R.I.’s innovation economy more generally considered, [and] within the field of neuroscience-based drug discovery.”
The Ryan Institute was established in 2013 with a $15-million gift from former CVS Health chairman and CEO Thomas M. Ryan. It is directed by Paula Grammas, one of the country’s leading neuroscience researchers and a specialist in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.