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Euthymics increases financing for adult ADHD medication

March 9, 2011
by News release
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Cambridge, Mass. — Euthymics Bioscience, Inc., a neuroscience-focused clinical-stage company, has announced the addition of $4 million to its Series A financing to accelerate preclinical development of its second product candidate EB-1020, a non-stimulant for adult ADHD.

The expansion by $4 million to the $24 million round which closed in July 2010 brings the total Series A financing to $28 million. Participating in this financing were lead investors Novartis Venture Fund and Venture Investors, as well as H&Q Healthcare Investors and H&Q Life Sciences Investors, GBS Venture Partners and Euthymics’ outside board member, Timothy J. Barberich, and all existing investors.

Euthymics develops triple reuptake inhibitors optimized for specific indications. Its lead product candidate EB-1010 for major depression is a serotonin-preferring triple. Euthymics plans to initiate a phase 2b/3a clinical trial of EB-1010 in major depression in the first half of 2011.

The company’s second development candidate EB-1020 is a norepinephrine and dopamine-preferring triple reuptake inhibitor that combines the pharmacology of the two most relevant brain chemicals for the treatment of ADHD in a single molecule.

Research suggests this profile could be optimal for the treatment of adult ADHD while avoiding the drug abuse liability of stimulants. Euthymics will use the expanded series A investment for GMP manufacturing of EB-1020, to conduct a full GLP preclinical program and to initiate a large phase 1 program to enable further human testing.

“I have worked with EB-1020 in our validated animal model of ADHD,” said Frank Tarazi, PhD, MBA, Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School and Director, Psychiatric Neuroscience Program, McLean Division of Massachusetts General Hospital. "In our recent study, EB-1020 was as effective as methylphenidate (Ritalin) in reducing the ADHD-like behavioral hyperactivity in this animal model, a model that has predictive validity for ADHD in people."

“We are encouraged by top-line data we have just seen with EB-1020 in the definitive animal model of ADHD, and we are pleased to have the continued support of our series A investors, who see the promise of an effective, yet non-addicting treatment for adults with this condition,” said Anthony A. McKinney, President and CEO of Euthymics.

“Key members of our leadership team were involved in the development of the first non-stimulant developed for ADHD, so we have the experience and the network to optimize the development of EB-1020. We expect the full preclinical program could support filing an IND for EB-1020 by early 2012,” McKinney added.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, ADHD causes significant impairment in adults, resulting in difficulty functioning, underachievement in school and at work, and poor social and family relations. ADHD affects approximately 10 million adult Americans (about 4.5 percent of the population).

However, only approximately one in 10 patients is treated, partially because of concerns about administering an addicting stimulant drug to adults. With EB-1020, norepinephrine is believed to help with focus, while the increased dopamine is believed to improve problem solving capabilities. The dopamine may also lead to a faster speed-of-onset.

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