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Leen Kawas, CEO of M3 Biotechnology. (Photo: M3)
Leen Kawas, CEO of M3 Biotechnology. (Photo: M3)

Bruce Montgomery, one of Seattle’s longtime biotech veterans, was among the investors that participated in a $10 million funding round for M3 Biotechnology, a startup focused on fighting brain ailments, such as Alzheimer’s.

For investors, Seattle-based M3’s most attractive feature is MM-201. The company, which announced the new investment on Thursday, hopes that the compound will prove itself effective at reversing the course of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The company says that in tests on animals, the compound has reversed both cognitive and motor deficits.

In a statement, M3 said “Completion of this funding round will permit M3 to move toward the initial clinical trials [for MM-201].”

Big pharma companies are racing to find drugs that can slow or reverse brain-degenerating diseases. On Wednesday, GBI Research reported that “the Alzheimer’s disease market” will more than double from about $5 billion in 2014 to $11.3 billion in 2021.

But the cost of research and testing are high. Experts predict smaller players will struggle to keep up with the larger drug companies. In a recent interview with Seattle Business, M3 CEO Leen Kawas said she plans to eventually partner with one of the big players.

Some of the other investors in M3’s round are the W-Fund and WRF Capital as well as Bruce Montgomery’s brother, Michael Montgomery.

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