Shreveport, La., and Boston —Embera NeuroTherapeutics, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company developing novel treatments for smoking cessation and other addictions, announced today that it has closed on $4.5 million in a continuation of its Series A financing.
Embera’s existing venture investors, Louisiana Ventures, L.P., Louisiana Fund I, and Themelios Ventures, as well as private investors, participated in the round. Proceeds from this financing, combined with development grant funding from the National Institute for Drug Abuse, will support clinical development of EMB-001 through a Phase 1 safety study, enabling Embera’s clinical development programs for both smoking cessation and cocaine dependence.
“This investment will enable us to complete preclinical development for EMB-001 and to bring this drug candidate entirely through a Phase 1 safety study,” said Bob Linke, Chief Executive Officer of Embera.
“Embera, alongside its scientific founder, has already established clinical activity for EMB-001 in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot clinical study in cocaine-dependent subjects. Additionally, our studies of EMB-001in a preclinical model of nicotine dependence have confirmed the potential for EMB-001 as a smoking cessation treatment, with statistically significant results versus the positive control, varenicline. We thank our investors for their continued support of this promising potential addiction treatment.”
“Embera has the potential to meet a major clinical need for a safe and effective therapy for smoking cessation, a $3.5 billion worldwide market,” said Ross P. Barrett, Chairman of Embera’s Board of Directors and founding partner of BVM Capital, LLC, which is the general partner of Louisiana Ventures L.P. “Data for EMB-001 to-date have been very compelling, and we therefore felt it was important to continue to support this program in order to bring it closer to patients.”
EMB-001 is a novel addiction treatment that acts by uniquely modulating multiple stress-related pathways to address the craving that drives addiction and to maximize potential efficacy. EMB-001 acts by mechanisms distinct from those of existing addiction treatments, and is based on the contribution of stress and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to the acquisition and maintenance of addiction. This treatment comprises two FDA-approved medications, the benzodiazepine oxazepam and the cortisol synthesis inhibitor metyrapone. This patent-pending combination is based on a discovery made by the company’s scientific founder Dr. Nicholas Goeders' work at LSU Health Sciences Center-Shreveport on the role of physiologic responses to chronic stress in addiction.
About Embera NeuroTherapeutics
Embera NeuroTherapeutics, Inc. is a development-stage pharmaceutical company focused on treating a broad range of addictions where the major clinical challenge is a limited range of effective drug therapies. Embera is developing a novel drug combination (EMB-001) targeting specific brain functions that drive craving and relapse associated with these disorders. Embera is advancing EMB-001 development programs in smoking cessation and cocaine dependence.