Company seeking to treat autism-related impairments receives $200K investment from IU fund

Confluence Pharmaceuticals develops treatments for social and communication impairments related to autism spectrum disorder, fragile X syndrome

The Indiana University Philanthropic Venture Fund, which invests in IU-related ventures, has invested $200,000 in Confluence Pharmaceuticals LLC.

Confluence Pharmaceuticals is a Carmel, Indiana-based company that develops novel, clinically discovered, therapeutic treatments for core social and communication impairments related to fragile X syndrome and autism spectrum disorder.

Confluence Pharmaceuticals CEO Steve Johns said the company is targeting its lead asset, a product for the treatment of fragile X syndrome to improve important functionality including communication, social interaction and self-care.

"Today, no medication exists to treat these core impairments," Johns said. "Early pilot studies have demonstrated the potential of our product to improve focus, communication, social withdrawal and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder."

Confluence Pharmaceuticals will use the investment to accelerate clinical development and regulatory activities.

What they're saying

Confluence Pharmaceuticals licenses intellectual property developed at Indiana University through the IU Innovation and Commercialization Office.

"We are delighted to have Indiana University broaden its relationship with us and become an investor as we enter the next stage of our development," Johns said. "We look forward to continuing our collaborative relationship and utilizing the supportive resources IU brings to the development of this much-needed therapy."

The IU Philanthropic Venture Fund was launched in February 2018. Teri Willey is the fund manager and executive director of the IU Research and Technology Corp.

"We, too, are delighted to be supporting the team at Confluence in their efforts to bring this critical therapy to patients, and to have Confluence as our 10th investment since launching the fund a few months ago," Willey said.

About Indiana University Research and Technology Corp.

IURTC catalyzes entrepreneurial activities at Indiana University and provides support for IU innovation-based startup companies. It advises and connects IU startups to capital and commercialization partners, industry mentors, and leadership talent. It also develops appropriate programming and startup space to accelerate company growth.

About Indiana University Philanthropic Venture Fund

The IU Philanthropic Venture Fund is an Indiana University-affiliated venture fund launched in 2018 through the vision and generosity of IU alumni and friends supporting IU discoveries best developed through a new venture. The fund is managed by IURTC staff who work with the IU Innovation and Commercialization Office, alumni, faculty, and staff, as well as the venture and economic development communities, to identify and develop IU-related opportunities for investment.

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