Promentis Pharmaceuticals, a Milwaukee company co-founded by Drs. John Mantsch and David Baker, professors in the Biomedical Sciences Department, raised $26 million, including $17.2 million in its third round of funding. The investment will finance key clinical trials of its most promising compound targeting neuropsychiatric disorders.
“This unique compound is one of the first attempts to treat central nervous system disorders by targeting glutamate release by astrocytes,” Baker says. “This is groundbreaking because glutamate is one of the most powerful regulators of brain function, and astrocytes are the most abundant cell in the brain.”
“We believe this approach – targeting glutamate release – may be effective against a wide range of CNS disorders,” Mantsch adds.
“This is an important example of the return on investment in government-funded research at the university level,” says Dr. William Cullinan, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “Drs. Baker and Mantsch have been funded by the NIH for more than 15 years.”