Neurovance, has closed a $7 million series A1 round led by existing investor Novartis Venture Fund to further advance development of EB-1020 for adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Neurovance is a spinout of Euthymics Bioscience, its affiliated company under the same ownership. Neurovance was created to focus on development of EB-1020 for adult ADHD and a pipeline of research compounds for other CNS disorders.
Neurovance recently completed its phase I clinical trial of EB-1020, its norepinephrine and dopamine-preferring reuptake inhibitor, that evaluated single and multiple ascending doses in normal subjects. EB-1020 was well tolerated and demonstrated a wide therapeutic index.
EB-1020 is being developed for adult ADHD due to its potent norepinephrine (NE) reuptake inhibition, combined with moderate dopamine (DA) reuptake inhibition and very modest serotonin (5-HT) reuptake inhibition. This suggests EB-1020 has a profile similar to the pharmacology of the leading non-stimulant atomoxetine given in combination with methylphenidate, one of the leading stimulants. Unlike stimulants, however, EB-1020 may have a low risk of drug abuse liability, as suggested by preclinical and clinical data. The ADHD market is valued at $7 billion and stimulants are the leading medications used for ADHD. However, stimulants used to treat ADHD are highly addictive and are tightly regulated by the government, which has led to shortages in the last few years.
"Given the favorable initial results showing good tolerability in healthy subjects and the expected pharmacodynamic profile associated with the broad pharmacology of EB-1020, we are now conducting work leading to our first patient trial, a phase IIa pilot study in adult ADHD planned for next year," said Anthony A. McKinney, president and CEO of Neurovance. "Several members of our management group were closely involved in the development of Strattera, the first non-stimulant for ADHD, and we are well positioned to build from that experience."
Novartis Venture Fund led this new round of investment where all existing investors participated, including: Venture Investors, H&Q Healthcare Investors (HQH) and H&Q Life Sciences Investors, GBS Venture Partners, State of Wisconsin Investment Board and Timothy J. Barberich.