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Grand Angels leads $1M seed investment in neurological drug developer

September 30, 2013
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Small GR firm receives grant for research with WMU
Student Anirudh Chowdhary, left, and Mark Gurney test the effectiveness of drugs that someday may bring relief to people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or major forms of depression. Photo by Jim Gebben

Grand Angels has led a $1,041,000 seed investment in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, depression and traumatic brain injuries.

The investment in Grand Rapids-based Tetra Discovery Partners includes funding from Biosciences Research and Commercialization Center of Western Michigan University, which invests in Michigan-based life sciences ventures, and the Michigan PreSeed Capital Fund.

As part of the seed round, Tetra also received funding from the Michigan Emerging Technology Fund, as a match to the recent $3 million Tetra received from the National Institute of Mental Health, according to a Tetra announcement.

Drug development

Tetra said it plans to use the seed investment to develop two drugs: one that could treat the cognitive break down caused by Alzheimer’s disease and a second that could treat depression, as well as restore cognitive function in people who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury.

"We look forward to the increased momentum this investment provides," said Tetra Founder and CEO Mark Gurney. "Our partnership will not only help to fund our key research and commercialization objectives, but the strategic connections and counsel that Grand Angels provides will accelerate Tetra's work on behalf of the millions of people suffering the devastating effects of Alzheimer's disease, depression and traumatic brain injury, for which there are no effective treatments."

Grand Angels President Jody Vanderwel called Tetra Discovery Partners “one of Michigan's most innovative businesses.”

"Mark and the Tetra team are changing the face of Alzheimer's research and working on some truly industry-changing breakthroughs right here in Grand Rapids,” Vanderwel said. 

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