RightHill Ventures Commits $1.5 Million to Slater-Backed Drug Discovery Company
New Fund Participates in Series A Financing for URI-Based MindImmune, Developer of a Novel Treatment for Neuroinflammatory Conditions Such as Alzheimer’s Disease
PROVIDENCE, RI – June 21, 2022 –RightHill Ventures, dedicated to providing seed-stage capital and other startup support to university-based ventures, today announced that it has committed a total of $1.5 million in a financing round totaling $12.4.MM in MindImmune Therapeutics, a Kingston, R.I. drug discovery company based at the University of Rhode Island developing first-in-class therapeutics that target the immune system to treat Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases of the central nervous system. The Slater Technology Fund, Rhode Island’s oldest and most active seed-stage investment fund, co-invested alongside private investors in the special-purpose vehicle (SPV) created by RightHill Ventures.
“While investing in URI-based startups is nothing new for Slater, partnering with other investors in a RightHill syndicate allows for larger commitments to the companies with the most traction, and that IS different,” said Thorne Sparkman, managing director of Slater and RightHill Ventures. “Over the last few years, we’ve successfully used this model ten times to raise millions in funding for new ventures, so it’s a powerful tool to support the best and brightest innovations coming out of universities. That’s why we created RightHill Ventures – to capitalize on this momentum and focus support on the groundbreaking research happening in labs around the region.”
The MindImmune investment is representative of RightHill Ventures’ mission to leverage university networks to build and grow companies out of the most promising research and intellectual property, which is often the result of sustained research funding. While this is the first investment for a RightHill syndicate, Slater has made a series of pre-seed investments in university-affiliated companies recently to fill the RightHill Ventures pipeline, including:
Alcinous Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology startup spun out of the labs of URI’s College of Pharmacy, that is developing therapeutics for aggressive cancers. Founded by three URI Ph.D. students, Nicholas DaSilva, Kenneth Rose, and Benjamin Barlock, Alcinous is advised by a number of global experts, including Geraldine Harriman, the co-founder and chief scientific officer at HotSpot Therapeutics.
Adept Materials, a Brown University-based startup that has developed a proprietary system to engineer advanced materials with dynamic moisture management capabilities. Founded by physics professor Derek Stein, Adept is advised by veteran company builder Dan Cromie.
Lenoss Medical, a medical device company collaborating with Brown-University surgeons and researchers to commercialize a minimally invasive and cement-free, biological technology that utilizes the natural healing properties of healthy bone to repair spinal fractures caused by osteoporosis or spinal metastatic tumors.
Octagon Therapeutics, a biotechnology company founded based on research from Brown and Harvard, commercializing a technology that enables targeted inhibition of specific cell populations during active autoimmune disease.
“Investing in a cutting-edge company like MindImmune, which has the potential to improve and save lives, is what RightHill is all about,” said Sparkman. “We are committed to leveraging universities’ resources and networks to help drive the development of companies like MindImmune that are tackling the world’s biggest problems.”
About RightHill Ventures
RightHill Ventures funds technology ventures with the most promising market opportunities and research-driven technologies emerging from university ecosystems. RightHill was founded by the Slater Technology Fund to support startup teams by leveraging its network of experienced entrepreneurs and technologists, and by funding the early milestones with investment syndicates of accredited investors, including those from the university communities. For more information, visit www.righthill.vc.
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