Cambridge Cognition Holdings Plc (LON:COG), which develops and markets digital solutions to assess brain health, has announced the completion of the spin-out of Monument Therapeutics Limited, a drug development company applying digital phenotyping to central nervous system disorders.
Cambridge Cognition has been incubating Monument Therapeutics since 2018, with early-stage research supported by two Innovate UK grants. Monument Therapeutics applies a novel drug development strategy, leveraging digital assessments of cognition to match patients with new pharmaceutical treatments. Monument Therapeutics has a pipeline of promising drug development programmes, with the most advanced two being for cognitive impairment in schizophrenia and for post-operative cognitive dysfunction (“POCD”).
The initial targets are both areas of unmet clinical need with limited treatment options. Schizophrenia affects around 20 million people worldwide1 and there are no approved treatments for the common and disabling cognitive impairment associated with the disorder.
POCD is a condition arising from major surgery, which can result in cognitive impairment for patients over the age of 65 both immediately (50-80% at discharge2) and persistently (10-30% six months post-surgery,3). Almost 250 million major surgical procedures are performed globally every year4, but there is no dedicated treatment for POCD.
In both approaches, Monument Therapeutics is de-risking development by repurposing drugs with a favourable safety profile and proven mechanisms of action, combining these with proprietary cognitive stratification tools licensed from Cambridge Cognition.
To develop these programmes as an independent company, Monument Therapeutics has secured £2.6 million in funding from a consortium of investors led by Catapult Ventures and Neo Kuma Ventures. Cambridge Cognition has retained a 36.9% shareholding in Monument Therapeutics and has agreed a license for the use of a number of its gold-standard cognitive assessments, including CANTABTM, for patient stratification. Furthermore, upon successful commercialisation of its drug development programmes, Monument Therapeutics will pay royalties to Cambridge Cognition.
Jenny Barnett has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Monument Therapeutics and she will continue to work with Cambridge Cognition as its Chief Scientific Officer on a part time basis.
Jenny Barnett, Chief Executive Officer of Monument Therapeutics, said:
“A major challenge when developing drugs for patients with psychiatric and neurological conditions is that clinical diagnoses are usually imprecise: two people with the same diagnosis may have little overlap in their signs and symptoms. Fortunately, digital phenotyping can help to stratify these patients, much as areas such as oncology have done with genetic testing. In pursuit of this goal, Monument Therapeutics has put together a team with deep drug development knowledge coupled with unique digital biomarker expertise to bring innovative stratified treatments to market. We are grateful to Cambridge Cognition for incubating the company and for the funding received from the incoming investors.”
1. Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators. Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 354 diseases and injuries for 195 countries and territories, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. The Lancet; 2018 (https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32279-7)
2. Rasmussen, L.S. (2006) Postoperative cognitive dysfunction: Incidence and prevention. Best Pract. Res. Clin. Anaesthesiol. 20, 315-330
3. Newman, M.F. et al. (2001) Longitudinal assessment of neurocognitive function after coronary-artery bypass surgery. N. Engl. J. Med. 344, 395-402 18
4. Weiser et al (2008) An estimation of the global volume of surgery: a modelling strategy based on available data Lancet 2008; 372: 139-44
Matthew Stork, Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge Cognition, said:
“By establishing Monument Therapeutics, we have created an exciting new venture to develop stratified medicine in CNS drug development that could help many patients with unmet clinical needs. It leverages Cambridge Cognition’s intellectual property and provides the potential for considerable royalty payments in the future. In addition, it gives the Company greater focus on the development and commercialisation of its cutting-edge digital health technologies.”