Profits from addiction

Cigarette smoking has risen in recent years among young people Keystone

Taking a new twist on the old investment adage that the best investments are human addictions (tobacco, liquor, and gambling), venture capital investors Index Ventures and Sofinnova announced they led an investment round in a Geneva-based biopharmaceutical firm that says it will make new drugs to treat addiction.

This content was published on July 12, 2002 - 12:31

Addex Pharmaceuticals closed its first round at SFr15.75 million. Other investors include Germany's TVM (Techno Venture Management), Switzerland's BCV Initiative Capital and individual investors.

Antoine Papiernik, general partner at Sofinnova, and Richard Rimer, partner at Index Ventures, are serving on the board.

Addex Pharmaceuticals plans to focus on making drugs to curb the craving for nicotine, alcohol, cocaine and opiates.

"We will also explore other indications related to the addiction process including anxiety and depression," remarked Francois Conquet, CEO of Addex in a press announcement.

The company is going to do drug discovery, development and marketing of novel therapeutic compounds. "Addiction is a large under-served market and significant public health issue," says Conquet.

The founders worked together at Glaxo and bring considerable experience to the field of addiction, say Index Ventures spokesperson Karen Wilson.

by Valerie Thompson

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