Carmel-based Confluence Pharmaceuticals LLC has raised $1.3 million in venture capital, according to Elevate Ventures, which participated in the round of funding.
Indianapolis-based Elevate Ventures said Monday that it made the investment through the 21st Century Research & Technology Fund, which is reserved for Indiana companies.
The investment includes the appointment of Elevate Ventures General Counsel Phil Lodato to Confluence’s board of directors.
Confluence’s initial focus has been on developing therapeutic treatments for Fragile X Syndrome and autism spectrum disorders for patients in the United States and Europe.
More than 180,000 Americans and 213,000 Europeans suffer from Fragile X, and more than 1.5 million Americans and 2.5 million Europeans are afflicted with autism spectrum disorders. Most of these patients will require life-long care and treatment.
Confluence has reformulated an existing drug known as acamprosate, which is on the market as a treatment for alcohol dependency. Confluence licensed rights to the drug from the Indiana University School of Medicine. A former IU professor, Dr. Craig Erickson, discovered that the drug was an effective treatment for Fragile X, which stems from a genetic mutation and is a cause of autism.
The company, founded in 2010, has received orphan drug status in the U.S. and Europe, which allows it to conduct clinical trials with fewer patients to receive regulatory approval. The status helps companies bring drugs to market faster and with less spent on research.
The additional capital should help the company begin Phase 1 FDA human clinical trials.
"Confluence Pharmaceuticals has demonstrated a capital-efficient approach to developing promising therapeutic assets to address an unmet need,” Elevate Ventures CEO Chris LaMothe said in a written statement. “We are excited to add the company to our investment portfolio, especially given the life sciences sector’s contribution to our community.”