Eumentis Therapeutics announced the closing of its $3.9 million Series A financing. Proceeds from the financing will be used to complete the IND enabling studies of EM-036, a novel proprietary nitro-aminoadamantane N-methyl-d-aspartate type-glutamate receptor (NMDAR) antagonist. Phase 1 trials are anticipated to begin in the third quarter of 2021. EM-036 will initially be developed for the treatment of children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), with potentially other indications to follow. In addition, EuMentis is actively seeking other clinical stage assets for the treatment of serious neuropsychiatric conditions.
Dr. Mark Tepper, Chief Executive Officer of EuMentis Therapeutics, said the funding will allow Eumentis to focus on neuropsychiatric conditions with few or no approved therapeutic options.
EM-036 is a novel memantine analog that acts as a bifunctional NMDAR antagonist by blocking excessively open ion channels with a memantine-like moiety, and donating a nitro group to a critical cysteine residue on the NMDA receptor resulting in superior pharmacological activity. This mechanism selectively inhibits over-activated extrasynaptic NMDARs relative to synaptic NMDARs, preserving normal neuronal glutamate signaling. Importantly, in models of Autism Spectrum Disorder, EM-036 was shown to correct excitatory/inhibitory imbalance and improve learning and social behavior. EM-036 has also been shown to be superior to memantine in reversing synaptic loss and dramatically improving memory in two AD transgenic animal models.
Dr. Randall Marshall, the Company’s Chief Medical Officer, added, “Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder of communication and behavior that affects hundreds of thousands of children and their families worldwide. … Based on our novel biomarker-driven strategy derived from recent compelling clinical data, EM-036 could become the first safe and effective therapy for ASD. With our network of distinguished advisors, highly effective team, and Series A resources now in hand, we are well positioned to move EM-036 into human trials as efficiently as possible.”