FundaMental Pharmalaunches with EUR 10 million in Seed financing led by BGV and Thuja Capital to advance a First-in-Class neuroprotectant
Heidelberg, Germany – [17 November 2022] – FundaMental Pharma GmbH (“FundaMental”), a preclinical neuroscience company spun out of Heidelberg University, today announces that it has launched with EUR 10 million in seed financing led by BioGeneration Ventures (BGV) and Thuja Capital, with participation from other investors, including coparion and High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF).
Built on the pioneering research of Professor Hilmar Bading and Dr. Jing Yan published in Science, the founders of FundaMental have identified first-in-class small molecule inhibitors for treatment of a range of neurodegenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic LateralSclerosis (ALS) and Huntington’sDisease. FundaMental’s novel approach relies on separating the normal neuroprotective effect ofsynaptic glutamate from its neurotoxic extra-synaptic actions, which are eliminated by the inhibitors.
“I am convinced that the successful development of FundaMental’s small molecule inhibitors will mark a milestone in neuropharmacologyand possibly beyond,” emphasized Dr. Thomas Schulze, CEO and co-founder of FundaMental. “It has been a privilege to have worked with Professor Bading`steamsince 2010 and to have puttogether such a strong leadership team. Having found visionary investors whose aims are aligned with the founder’s goals of stopping neurodegeneration, this vision can now become reality after many years of dedication and persistence.”
“It is probably no exaggeration to call the discovery of the new therapeutic principle of ‘inhibition of an extra-synaptic glutamate-activated death signaling complex’ a breakthrough in neuroscience”, said Professor Hilmar Bading, Director of the Department of Neurobiology and the Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences at Heidelberg University and Co-Founder of FundaMental. “These inhibitors have the potential to revolutionize therapies for currently untreatable neurodegenerative diseases and offer hope to many affected and suffering patients.”
In conjunction with the financing, FundaMental also announced several key senior managementappointments as well as the Board of Directors of the company. Dr. Gabriele Hecker-Barth has joined as Chief Medical Officer and Dr. Jing Yan as Senior Director of Research. Dr. Keno Gutierrez of BGV and Dr. Michel Briejer of Thuja Capital, Professor Hilmar Bading and Dr. Thomas Schulze have beenappointed to the company’s Board of Directors.
“FundaMental’s novel therapeutics provide new hope to patients of ALS, Huntington’s disease and spinocerebellar ataxia 3, whichremain devastating diseases that have an immense impact on the quality of patients’ lives,” said Dr. Keno Gutierrez, newChairmanof FundaMental’sBoard of Directors and Partner at BGV. “We are excited to invest and support the FundaMental team as theyendeavorto make thesemolecules ready for the clinic.”
“Professor Bading and Dr. Yan have made a promising and important discovery, unlocking the possibility to inhibit glutamate neurotoxicity while leaving its physiologically important aspects unaffected,” said Dr. Michel Briejer, Board Member and Managing Partner at Thuja Capital. “We are thrilled to be part of this venture with a mission to impact the lives of patients suffering from these neurodegenerative diseases.”