Addex Pharmaceuticals Attracts Venture Funding From Leading European VC Firms
Geneva, Switzerland, 11th July, 2002 - Addex Pharmaceuticals today announced the closing of a CHF 15.75 million first round (€10 million) co-led by Index Ventures and Sofinnova Partners. Other investors include TVM (Techno Venture Management), BCV Initiative Capital and individual investors. Antoine Papiernik, General Partner at Sofinnova, and Richard Rimer, Partner at Index Ventures, are serving on the board along with highly experienced pharmaceutical and biotech industry executives. Addex Pharmaceuticals (www.addexpharma.com) is a biopharmaceutical company committed to the discovery, development and marketing of novel therapeutic compounds for the treatment of addiction and other neuropsychiatric conditions. Addex Pharmaceuticals applies a new scientific approach that fully integrates molecular, behavioral and chemistry technologies to address drug dependence. "Addiction is a large under-served market and significant public health issue. Addex Pharmaceuticals is targeting this market with a focus on nicotine, alcohol, cocaine and opiate dependence," remarked Francois Conquet, CEO of Addex Pharmaceuticals. "We will also explore other indications related to the addiction process including anxiety and depression."
The Addex Pharmaceuticals team combines research expertise in the field of dependence with broad experience in drug development. The core team, which has collaborated for many years, includes scientists with complementary skill sets and extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry. François Conquet serves as CEO, Mark Epping-Jordan as CSO, Timothy Dyer as CFO and Vincent Mutel as Head of Drug Discovery and Development. Members of the Scientific Advisory Board include George Koob of The Scripps Research Institute, Mark Geyer of UC, San Diego, Pierre Magistretti of The University of Lausanne, Barbara Mason of The University of Miami, Florida, and Charles Grudzinskas of CDDS at Georgetown University. "The calibre of the team and their collective scientific and industry expertise, focused on this important field, will have a huge impact in the treatment of addiction," commented Antoine Papiernik, General Partner at Sofinnova Partners. The company utilizes a powerful drug discovery approach to identify new targets and discover novel compounds for the treatment of dependence. In addition to developing their own compounds, Addex Pharmaceuticals is actively seeking to in-license drugs in various stages of development, including drugs already in clinical trials for the treatment of dependence. "Addex Pharmaceuticals is unique in taking a comprehensive approach to addressing addiction, starting with scientific discovery and moving all the way through product development and marketing," stated Richard Rimer, Partner at Index Ventures.
The development of drug dependence is complex, involving alterations in cognition, emotion and brain reward processes. Effective pharmacological interventions could reduce or eliminate drug use, prevent relapse, relieve withdrawal symptoms, and reduce morbidity and/or mortality. Most current therapies act at the same targets as the abused substances themselves. However, because these targets contribute to natural reward and other basic processes, such as motor activity, modulation of these targets often leads to significant side effects. In contrast to existing therapies, the Addex Pharmaceuticals drug development strategy addresses targets that indirectly modulate systems activated by drugs of abuse. Thus, Addex Pharmaceuticals products are expected to be broadly applicable to multiple addictions with fewer side effects. It is also believed that this approach will yield drugs that will be useful for the treatment of other psychiatric indications.
About Index Ventures
Index Ventures is a leading pan-European venture capital fund with $500 million dedicated to investments in high technology and life sciences. Index began investing in European technology in 1992 and has backed more than 40 companies over the past several years. Index is dedicated to working with entrepreneurs to build companies that can become global leaders in their sector. Index Ventures investors include leading technology firms and institutional investors. Life sciences companies in which the firm has invested include Genmab (Public: Neuer Markt: 565132.F, Copenhagen: GEN.CO), Cellzome, 7TM Pharma, BioXell and ParAllele Bioscience. To learn more about Index Ventures visit http://www.indexventures.com/ .
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners, based in Paris since 1972, is a leading European venture capital firm dedicated to financing and building early stage information technology and life sciences companies in Europe and the US. Sofinnova Partners has in total over €500M under management. In the past five years, Sofinnova Partners has made over 60 investments, primarily as lead or co-lead investor. In the life sciences, these have been focused on biopharmaceutical and medical device companies such as Actelion, Nicox, Novuspharma, IDM and SpineVision. For more details visit: http://www.sofinnova.fr/