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Minnesota drug developer CNS Therapeutics raises $3 million

On the heels of FDA approval of its new anti-spasticity drug Gablofen, CNS Therapeutics has raised $3 million in equity, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Gablofen (baclofen) is administered to the central nervous system via an implanted pump (intrathecal therapy) to help control severe spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, brain trauma and stroke.

Gablofen competes directly with Lioresal Intrathecal (baclofen injection), which is manufactured by Novartis and marketed exclusively by Medtronic. CNS claims Gablofen will cost 10 to 15 percent less than that drug and offer greater ease of use for nurses and pharmacies.

CNS estimates about 150,000 patients in the United States are currently implanted with intrathecal drug pumps, and that 500,000 suffer from spasticity.

CNS, founded in 2007, has 20 employees and with this latest funding round has raised $18 million to date. The St. Paul company has received funding from Thomas, McNerney and Partners and InterWest Partners, as well as a 2009 grant from the federal Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery program.

In addition to Gablofen, the company is also developing treatments for the management of severe pain, and is collaborating with the University of Helsinki on novel intrathecal therapies for Parkinson’s disease. This research is in part funded by a grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

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