Digital brain biomarker company Monument Therapeutics raises £2.6 million
Cambridge Cognition spin-out targets schizophrenia and post-operative cognitive dysfunction
Manchester, UK, August 2021: Monument Therapeutics, a stratified medicine company, has raised £2.625 million in seed funding to spin out of Cambridge Cognition Ltd 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-surgery,3). Almost 250 million major surgical procedures are performed globally every year4 but there is no dedicated treatment for POCD.
In both approaches, Monument Therapeutics is de-risking development by repurposing drugs with a favourable safety profile and proven mechanisms of action, and combining these with proprietary cognitive stratification tools licensed from Cambridge Cognition.
To develop these programmes as an independent company, Monument Therapeutics has secured £2.625 million in funding from a consortium of experienced technology and life science investors led by Catapult Ventures’ Greater Manchester and Cheshire Life Sciences Fund and Neo Kuma Ventures and including Wren Capital and o2H ventures. Cambridge Cognition has retained a minority shareholding in Monument Therapeutics and has agreed a license for the use of a number of its gold-standard cognitive assessments, including CANTABTM, for patient stratification. Furthermore, upon successful commercialisation by Monument Therapeutics, Cambridge Cognition will be paid royalties on licensing income and revenues.
Jenny Barnett, Cambridge Cognition’s Chief Scientific Officer, has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Monument Therapeutics and will also retain a part-time role at Cambridge Cognition.
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 signs and 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 CNS 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.”
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).
2. Rasmussen, L.S. (2006) Postoperative cognitive dysfunction: Incidence and prevention. Best Pract. Res. Clin. Anaesthesiol. 20, 315–330
3. Newman, M.F. et al. (2001) Longitudinal assessment of neurocognitive function after coronary-artery bypass surgery. N. Engl. J. Med. 344, 395–402 18
4. Weiser et al (2008). An estimation of the global volume of surgery: a modelling strategy based on available data Lancet 2008; 372: 139–44
For further information, contact:
Jenny Barnett, CEO
E: [email protected]
Notes to Editors:
About Monument Therapeutics
Monument Therapeutics is bringing stratified medicine to CNS drug development. The company uses proprietary digital biomarkers to reduce heterogeneity and identify patients with homogenous underlying neurobiology, which are then matched with appropriately targeted compounds.
For further information visit www.monumenttx.com
About Cambridge Cognition
Cambridge Cognition is a technology company developing digital health products to better understand, detect and treat conditions affecting brain health. The Company’s software products assess cognitive health in patients worldwide to improve clinical trial outcomes, identify and stratify patients early and improve global efficiency in pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.
For further information visit www.cambridgecognition.com
About the Greater Manchester & Cheshire Life Sciences Fund
Managed by Catapult Ventures, the Greater Manchester & Cheshire (‘GM&C’) Life Sciences Fund is a seed and early-stage venture capital fund targeting life science businesses located in the Greater Manchester and Cheshire & Warrington region. The Fund is the result of a collaboration between Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Cheshire East Council, and Manchester Science Partnerships and can be invested in ‘Life Science’ businesses across the following sectors: Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Diagnostics, Life Science Contract Research Organisations (CRO), Healthcare Technologies and Medical Devices. With contributions from both private and public-sector partners, the size of the Fund, at launch, is around £31m. Full details can be found at: www.gmclifesciencesfund.com
About Catapult Ventures
Catapult Ventures is an independent venture capital fund manager that has been investing in UK businesses since 2002. Catapult’s owners have operated discrete funds on behalf of public and private sector investors totalling c. £130m, including the Greater Manchester and Cheshire Life Sciences Fund. Since 2015 Catapult has recorded 13 profitable exits averaging 4.8x money multiple, including Accutronics (9.1x), Lumora (4.7x), Oxford Cryosystems (5.2x), Systems Integration (4.9x), Monica Healthcare (3.6x), BWB Consulting (3.2x), Hangar7 (3x), Stagecoach (2x), Yospace (6.9x), R2C Online (12.6x) and Oracle Care and Education (3.4x). Catapult Ventures and Catapult Ventures Group are trading names of Catapult Ultimate Holdings Ltd, which is the ultimate holding company of Catapult Venture Managers Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. www.catapult-ventures.com
About Wren Capital
Wren Capital, whose managing partner is Rajat Malhotra (UK Business Angels Association’s Angel Investor of the Year for 2013), specialises in early stage investing in science, software and engineering. Wren has particular experience in investing in early stage life sciences across different therapeutic areas as well as in medical devices and diagnostics. www.wrencapital.co.uk
About o2h ventures
The o2h human health Fund was the first S/EIS fund in the UK solely focused on investing in EIS and/or SEIS seed stage companies covering novel drug discovery & AI, digital therapeutics and enabling services. The o2h team are leaders in the biotech community and have been actively involved as investors, holding various board/industry positions as well as being engaged in grassroots scientific activity for over 20 years. o2h Ventures operates from their proprietary 2.7 acre Mill SciTech Park where they are developing a unique model for incubating small life science companies. iwww.o2hventures.com