Date: Feb 25, 2010 Author: Kathleen Gallagher Source: Journal Sentinel (
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A Milwaukee company that's developing drugs to treat schizophrenia and other central nervous system disorders said Thursday it has raised $1.94 million from investors.
Promentis Pharmaceuticals Inc. will use the money to further develop compounds to use for treatments, said Daniel Lawton, Promentis' president and chief executive. The company is hoping to get a therapy into clinical trials as soon 24 months from now, he said.
The Marquette Golden Angels network was the single largest participant, with an investment of $770,000, Lawton said. Other investors were: Tom Shannon, a former executive at Proesse Inc.; and Black Horse Investments GmbH, a German investment group headed by Patrick Schwarz-Schuette. Schwarz-Schuette is the former chairman of the Schwarz Pharma Group. He and Shannon are also members of the Promentis board, Lawton said.
Shannon said he invested for four reasons: the Golden Angels negotiated a fair shareholders' agreement; high-level, ex-Schwarz Pharma people were risking their own money; Lawton impressed him; and he could get a 25% state tax credit on his investment.
"If any of those four ingredients had been missing, I wouldn't have written the check," Shannon said.
Promentis exclusively licensed its technology from Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The company's compounds target the glutamate system, which is critical to transmitting signals in the brain. The company and its investors say they believe they have an advantage.
Promentis has already seen "very promising, pre-clinical results" with its compounds, which have potential to treat cognitive issues involving memory and problem-solving and other symptoms of schizophrenia that drugs now on the market don't address, Lawton said.