Providence startup raises $5.4M in venture funding

KOLLOL Pal, left, Mnemosyne Pharmaceuticals CEO, with Frank Menniti, chief scientific officer at the company. Slater Technology Fund has invested a total of $1 million in the startup.
Posted 2/23/12

PROVIDENCE – Mnemosyne Pharmaceuticals Inc. has secured $5.4 million in a Series A financing, the company announced last week.

The financing round was led by Access BridgeGap Ventures and included support from its existing investor, the Slater Technology Fund, which has invested a total of $1 million in the firm.

The company currently operates out of incubator space at the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at One Davol Square.

Mnemosyne President and CEO Kollol Pal described his startup as “the poster child” for the emerging Knowledge District because of its pairing of science and entrepreneurship.

The new financing will support Mneosyne Pharmaceuticals’ drug discovery programs, focused on the identification of drug treatments for schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders.

Mnemosyne also reached a two-year contract research organization agreement on Feb. 20 with Jubilant Biosys Limited, Bangalore, to identify pre-clinical candidates for drug treatments. The work will be conducted at Jubilant’s translational center in Malvern, Pa., and by scientists from Jubilant’s India-based facilities.

“The research chemistry work will take place in India, and the screening and pharmacology at Malvern,” Pal said.

“Mnemosyne is targeting some of the most significant unmet needs in neuropsychiatric disease,” said Daniel Behr, founder and senior vice president, Access BridgeGap Ventures. “We have great confidence in the research strategy being pursued and believe the founders, directors and advisors recruited to the task are ideally suited to achieving the company’s ambitious goals.”

“Completing the Series A financing will enable us to ramp up the pace of our discovery programs considerably,” said Pal. “We look forward to working with Access, whose endorsement of our approach is encouraging and whose commitment to realizing breakthroughs in clinical medicine aligns well with our strategic vision for the company.”

Mnemosyne was founded in 2010 and previously raised seed funding from Slater Technology Fund and private investors. The company’s founding scientists have extensive experience in N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptor pharmacology and drug discovery for neuropsychiatric disorders. Mnemosyne is developing a new class of molecules, Subunit Selective NMDA Receptor Modulators for the neuropsychiatry market.

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