Published 15th March 2017

Autifony Therapeutics obtains £1.3 million in funding from Innovate UK and the Dementia Discovery Fund to explore novel approach to treatment of dementia

Touchstone Innovations' portfolio company, Autifony Therapeutics Limited (“Autifony”), which is pioneering the development of novel pharmaceutical treatments for serious disorders of the central nervous system, today announced a new funding award of £895,000 from the Biomedical Catalyst for initiation of a research programme with a novel approach to the treatment of dementia. An investment of £400,000 from the Dementia Discovery Fund (“DDF”) will also be used to pursue this highly novel approach to dementia treatment.

Autifony will use its extensive expertise in the voltage-gated ion channel field to tackle a different subtype of potassium channel, which has been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease (“AD”) and potentially other dementias, through regulation of synapse function. Synaptic function is impaired early in the course of the disease and therefore novel drugs that target this previously unexplored ion channel could have potential not only to improve symptoms of AD, but to be disease modifying.

Dr Charles Large, Chief Executive Officer of Autifony Therapeutics commented:

“We are excited to be using our expertise in ion channel drug discovery for a research programme in an area of such huge unmet medical need – dementia is one of the largest problems facing our society in the 21st century. The renewed Biomedical Catalyst and unique Dementia Discovery Fund partnership are making significant contributions to pioneering research in this field and we are fortunate in having attracted funding from both to progress our research in this important area.”

Dr Tetsu Maruyama, Chief Scientific Officer of the Dementia Discovery Fund commented:

“DDF’s mission is to ensure that new and original opportunities to treat dementias receive the resources that can enable their success. Autifony, as world leaders in their field, have an innovative approach to dementia discovery that could validate new treatment strategies and at the same time kickstart a rapid discovery with real potential to deliver relief to millions of patients.”