Carmel-based life sciences startup Confluence Pharmaceuticals has received a $200,000 investment from IU Ventures, the third round of funding from IU’s early-stage venture and angel investment arm. The company is seeking solutions for those afflicted with autism spectrum disorder and fragile X syndrome.
Confluence is an exclusive licensee of intellectual property developed at IU through the IU Innovation and Commercialization Office by former faculty member Dr. Craig Erickson, a leading expert in fragile X syndrome.
The company says there are currently no clinical treatments to address and improve these conditions. However, Confluence’s lead drug has demonstrated some success.
“We are excited about the progress we have made in unlocking the potential of our lead compound, enhancing and expanding our product development pipeline, and working with key partners in the FXS and ASD communities, as we aim to change the way people think about and treat these disorders,” said Steve Johns, president and co-founder of Confluence. “We hope to bring to market what would be the first treatment to address the core impairments of FXS.”
IU says Confluence is currently raising an expanded bridge round, which will convert into a Series B offering, and has exceeded its target raise of $600,000. This funding will be used to advance the company’s Phase II clinical trials for its treatment of fragile X syndrome. It will also seek to develop drugs and therapies for autism spectrum disorder and other similarly anchored neurological conditions.
In addition to the $200,000 IU Ventures awarded this spring, the investment arm also made a $100,000 bridge investment in 2020 and an initial $200,000 in 2018.
The company has conducted the majority of its clinical trials at the IU School of Medicine and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.