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GEN News Highlights : Oct 27, 2010

Index Pledges €10M to New Company’s Development of Peptide Candidates for CNS Diseases

NRG-101 will be developed for psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

Index Ventures has pledged to provide up to a €10 million (about $14 million) investment in Mind-NRG, a newly incorporated Swiss CNS disease therapeutics firm. The new company is focused on the development of a peptidic neurotrophic factor candidate NRG-101, which it claims has disease-modifying potential and can cross the blood-brain barrier by receptor-mediated transport to reach its target. NRG-101 has been acquired from German systems biology firm ProteoSys in return for Mind-NRG equity.

Funding from Index includes an initial €1.5 million in Series A financing, which will support research at Mind-NRG to generate additional key data on the drug. In the near-term the firm will focus on conducting in vitro and in vivo studies to further explore the peptide’s mechanism of action and its activity in a range of relevant disease models.

Mind-NRG says it ultimately aims to develop NRG-101 for the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, Parkinson disease, and Alzheimer disease. Index Ventures partner Michèle Ollier has been appointed as Mind-NRG chairman.