November 11, 2010, Toronto, Ontario: Functional Neuromodulation Inc., (FNMI) a Toronto start-up medical technology company today announced the closing of a $600,000 seed financing from Genesys Capital of Toronto. FNMI was established in early 2010 to develop novel Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) therapies for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).
Dr. Andres Lozano, R.R. Tasker Chair in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery at the University Health Network and University of Toronto, originated the concept of treating memory disorders using DBS. Dr. Lozano is the scientific founder of FNMI and principal inventor of the Company’s intellectual property which initially includes five patent applications relating to treating Memory and Cognitive disorders including AD and MCI using DBS. Dr. Lozano and colleagues at Toronto Western Hospital recently completed a Phase I pilot clinical study of DBS in AD patients. The results from this study were published in the September 2010 issue of Annals of Neurology.
“Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease for which there is no cure. DBS has been used successfully to treat tens of thousands of Parkinson’s patients and is an emerging therapy for Epilepsy and Depression. We believe DBS represents a potentially important new approach to addressing the growing unmet need to treat AD,” commented Genesys partner Kelly Holman. “We view the seed financing as a first-step toward building an innovative, cognition-focused DBS company.” Mr. Holman has joined Dr. Lozano and Daniel O’Connell, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, on FNMI’s board of directors.
Mr. O’Connell commented on the financing. “Genesys has a successful track record in early stage life science investing. Dr. Lozano and I are pleased to have the firm’s support and their willingness to contribute directly to FNMI’s development. Securing the seed financing and the intellectual property rights sets FNMI on course to close a Series A financing next year.” With the closing of a Series A financing, the Company’s primary objective will be to demonstrate clinical proof of concept in a Phase II trial of DBS in AD patients.
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, Ltd.
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.
CAUTION — Investigational device. Limited by Federal law to investigational use.
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