As the first investor in M3 Biotechnology, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) helped validate the therapeutic potential of M3’s drug candidate for Alzheimer’s disease. With a second investment of $1.4 million, the ADDF is now providing key funds to support the launch of human trials this year.
While current drugs for Alzheimer’s disease only provide symptomatic relief, M3’s small molecule therapeutics have the potential to be truly disease-modifying. By re-establishing lost connections between brain cells, these therapies may halt the course of the disease. M3 is now in the process of planning a first-in-humans Phase 1a clinical trial for its lead candidate, NDX-1017, to evaluate its safety and determine optimal dosing range.
“ADDF’s first investment spurred others, including many private investors and Washington state-based venture groups W Fund and WRF Capital. These investments evidenced the faith in our potential, which helped us make it past the valley of death for drug development and raise nearly $14 million in additional funding,” said Leen Kawas, M3’s CEO.
The most noteworthy new investor in M3 is Dolby Family Ventures, which invests in technology and life sciences. The fund makes early stage investments in the most promising Alzheimer's-specific therapeutics which require funding for the critical phase of translating successful animal therapies to human clinical trials. The fund honors the late inventor, Ray Dolby, who died in 2013 and who lived with Alzheimer's disease.
“The relationship with the ADDF has been vital to our progress as they have fostered a dynamic, collaborative biotech ecosystem,” Kawas said. “By providing early funding and connecting us with potential partners and investors, the ADDF has helped us reach the clinic.”
Howard Fillit, MD, Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer of the ADDF, says, “We are excited by the promising therapeutic approach of Dr. Kawas and her team at M3 Biotechnology. By helping neurons survive, NDX-1017 may restore cognitive function for Alzheimer’s patients. The ADDF looks forward to the results from this first human trial."