Money Odds & Ends

Madison company lands more financing to test Alzheimer’s drug
Mithridion, Inc., a drug development company focusing on serious central nervous system disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, announced today it has received $2.9 million in Series B Preferred Stock financing.

The company will use the funds for the clinical development of MCD-386, its lead drug candidate, aimed at stopping or slowing down disease progression and improving memory and cognition for patients with Alzheimer’s.

The company has raised $7.4 million to date in equity funding.

Venture Investors of Madison led the latest round of financing. The State of Wisconsin Investment Board and Wisconsin Investment Partners, both of Madison, and Rocket Venture Fund of Toledo. Ohio, all existing shareholders, also participated in the latest funding.

"his new funding will enable Mithridion not only to advance MCD-386 in Phase I trial, but will also support the development of exciting drug leads for AD and schizophrenia in our preclinical pipeline," said Trevor Twose, Ph.D., the company’s chief executive officer. "We greatly appreciate the continued support of our shareholders."

In preclinical laboratory tests, MCD-386 appears to replace deficient brain acetylcholine activity, similar to that caused by Alzheimer’s. The drug is intended to improve memory and cognition, with improved tolerability compared to previously tested M1-selective muscarinic drugs. MCD-386 also appeared to activate alpha-secretase enzymes, which might reduce or prevent the loss of brain cells in Alzheimer’s by preventing the formation of amyloid beta. In preclinical lab

Automakers launch new loan program with credit unions
Credit unions in Wisconsin are joining a new program called "Invest in America," in which their members are eligible to receive discounted loans to buy cars from General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC.

Credit unions across the nation are making as much as $80 billion available for low-cost loans on new cars.

As part of "Invest in America," which will run through March 31, 90 million credit union members nationwide – including 2.2 million in Wisconsin – can gain access to GM’s Credit Union Member Discount Program and Chrysler’s Credit Union Member Cash discounts, as well as low-cost financing on new vehicle purchases.

In the program, GM is offering supplier price discounts, while Chrysler is offering rebates of $500 or $1,000 on eligible vehicles.

The program was piloted in a handful of states but had expanded nationwide to provide more consumers with affordable financing options. Non-members can join a credit union to access the discounts.

"Credit union members can feel good knowing they’re saving money through these offers, but also because they’re helping to reinvigorate the auto industry – a vital part of the U.S. economy," said Brett Thompson, president and chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Credit Union League.

Auto lending has traditionally been credit unions’ "bread and butter," Thompson said.

"America’s credit unions have billions to lend. They began in the United States during the Great Depression, and they seem to come into vogue when times are toughest," Thompson said.

Thompson said nonprofit credit unions are financially strong and ready to lend, while other institutions have restricted credit.

"In a down economy, more people are looking at used cars or simply not buying," Thompson said. "So, credit unions – which don’t chase profits – provide an obvious solution to helping people opt for a new vehicle simply because the rates credit unions can offer will give consumers more car for their money."

For more information about the new program, visit

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