FITCHBURG, Wis. — Mithridion, Inc, a new drug development company focusing on Alzheimer’s disease, announced Wednesday it has received the first portion of an anticipated $1.6 million first-funding round.  The remainder of the funding is expected over the next few months.  Mithridion will use the funds to establish laboratories, hire scientists and develop drug candidates. 

The funding came from Rosetta Partners LLC, an investment management firm in Lake Forest, Ill., dealing exclusively in public and private early-stage biotechnology companies, and members of an angel investor network, Wisconsin Investment Partners, of Madison, Wis. 

“This funding enables us to begin work aimed at developing novel drugs to stop or slow down disease progression in this devastating disorder,” said Trevor M. Twose, PhD, the company’s CEO.

“We’ll be equipping a first-class laboratory, provided by the University Research Park, as part of our prize from winning the 2005 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, hiring up to six employees over the next year, and starting research in the next few weeks,” he added.

The company’s technology was developed at the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy.  In June 2005, Mithridion signed a license agreement with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the UW’s technology transfer arm, receiving worldwide exclusive rights to the technology.  WARF is a shareholder in the company.

Mithridion is another start-up company that is based on technology developed at UW-Madison, patented by WARF and located in University Research Park. 

“WARF is looking forward to this company producing products that will address a global health need and bring revenue back to the university,” WARF Managing Director Carl Gulbrandsen said.

“An important part of our mission is to create and capture value for Wisconsin from this exciting discovery made here at UW,” Twose said.  “In Mithridion, we have brought together the science, the management, and –with the help of Rosetta and Wisconsin Investment Partners — the vital capital to set out on this mission.  Success should create not only valuable drugs and rewards for our investors, but also contribute to the state economy in this high-priority biomedical sector of industry.” 
Mithridion was formed by Twose (through the vehicle of Biopons, a Fitchburg-based biotechnology consulting company), Jeffrey A. Johnson, PhD, an associate professor with the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy, and Thor D. Stein, PhD, of the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy. Johnson and Stein are co-inventors of the technology.  Johnson serves as chief scientific adviser to the company; Stein will join Mithridion as chief scientific officer.

Mithridion won the Life Sciences category in the 2005 Governor’s Business Plan Contest, and won the overall competition in close balloting. The second-place finisher in the contest, AquaSensors, recently announced a $360,000 round of angel financing.

For further information:

  • Mithridion — Trevor M. Twose, CEO: (608) 278-1068 or 332-8319, 2935 S. Fish Hatchery Road, #156, Fitchburg, WI 53711

  • Biopons — Terry R. Dolan, Chairman: (520) 825-9474

  • Rosetta Partners — Paul Evans, Principal: (847) 457-3990

  • Wisconsin Investment Partners — Dick Leazer, Principal: (608) 832-6365

  • WARF — Andrew Cohn, Government and Public Relations Manager: (608) 263-2821

  • UW-Madison School of Pharmacy — Linda G Dietrich. Public Affairs: (608) 262-6343