Milwaukee biotech company raises $2.5 million for trichotillomania research

Last updated on March 17th, 2020 at 01:32 pm

Milwaukee-based Promentis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has raised $2.5 million for the continued research of a cure for trichotillomania, a neuropsychiatric disorder affecting about 1% of the U.S. population.

People afflicted with trichotillomania pull out their own hair, causing noticeable hair loss and significantly impacting self-esteem, health, employment and quality of life.

Trichotillomania is a highly prevalent but under-recognized impulse control disorder that has no approved treatments, according to a press release.

The company recently raised $2.5 million out of a $6 million funding round, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The proceeds will be used for research, development, general corporate purposes and to compensate executive officers and certain directors.

Promentis’ lead compound, SXC-2023, is used to address glutamatergic imbalance and oxidative stress – two factors that exacerbate trichotillomania. The lead compound also has the potential to treat a wide range of adult impulse control diseases, including obsessive compulsive disorder and substance-related and addictive disorders.

In October, the company conducted a 28-patient phase 2A behavior biomarker study. The goal of the study was to demonstrate psychodynamic activity and further evaluate the safety and tolerability of SXC-2023 in adult subjects, according to a press release.

The results of the study suggest a “clear effect” associated with SXC-2023 administration in measures of impulse control closely related to trichotillomania and other indications of interest to the company. Results indicate the potential benefits of SXC-2023 on important aspects of cognitive dysfunction across a wide range of central nervous system disorders.

The company is now gearing up for a 120-patient Phase 2 multi-center trichotillomania study, which is now fully enrolled. This study will evaluate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of three oral doses of SXC -2023 in adult patients with moderate to severe trichotillomania.

Promentis held a Phase 1 clinical trial in December of 2018 and has since raised more than $26 million through investor funding.  

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