Biomarker company raises £2.6 million for neuroscience drugs

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Monument Therapeutics has raised £2.6 million in seed funding to spin out of Cambridge Cognition and relocate to Alderley Park, Cheshire. The new company will focus on applying digital biomarkers to neuroscience drug development with a view to matching patient sub-groups with appropriately targeted compounds.

Monument Therapeutics applies a novel drug development strategy, leveraging digital assessments of cognition to match patients with new pharmaceutical treatments.  Monument Therapeutics has a pipeline of promising drug development programmes, with the most advanced two being for cognitive impairment in schizophrenia and post-operative cognitive dysfunction (POCD).

The initial targets are both areas of unmet clinical need with limited treatment options. Schizophrenia affects around 20 million people worldwide1, however there are no approved treatments for the common and disabling cognitive impairment associated with the disorder.

POCD is a condition arising from major surgery, which can result in cognitive impairment for patients over the age of 65 both immediately (50-80% at discharge2) and persistently (10-30% six months post-surgery3). Almost 250 million major surgical procedures are performed globally every year4, but there is no dedicated treatment for POCD.

Jenny Barnett, Chief Executive Officer of Monument Therapeutics, said: “A major challenge when developing drugs for patients with psychiatric and neurological conditions is that clinical diagnoses are usually imprecise: two people with the same diagnosis may have little overlap in their biology or symptoms.  Fortunately, digital phenotyping can help to stratify these patients, much as areas such as oncology have done with genetic testing.  In pursuit of this goal, Monument Therapeutics has put together a team with deep drug development knowledge coupled with unique digital biomarker expertise to bring innovative stratified treatments to market.  We are grateful to Cambridge Cognition for incubating the company and for the funding received from the incoming investors.”

Matthew Stork, Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge Cognition, said: “By establishing Monument Therapeutics, we have created an exciting new venture to develop stratified medicine in neuroscience drug development that could help many patients with unmet clinical needs. It leverages Cambridge Cognition’s intellectual property and provides the potential for considerable royalty payments in the future, while the Company continues to focus on the development and commercialisation of its cutting-edge digital health technologies.”

References

  1. Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators. Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 354 diseases and injuries for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. The Lancet; 2018 (https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32279-7).
  1. Rasmussen, L.S. (2006) Postoperative cognitive dysfunction: Incidence and prevention. Best Pract. Res. Clin. Anaesthesiol. 20, 315–330
  1. Newman, M.F. et al. (2001) Longitudinal assessment of neurocognitive function after coronary-artery bypass surgery. N. Engl. J. Med. 344, 395–402 18
  1. Weiser et al (2008). An estimation of the global volume of surgery: a modelling strategy based on available data Lancet 2008; 372: 139–44

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