BENSON CAPITAL PARTNERS ANNOUNCES FIRST INVESTMENT IN AXOSIM, INC.
AxoSim, Inc, Provider of BrainSim™ and NerveSim™ Neurological Drug Discovery Platforms Teams with Benson Capital Partners and Jefferson Capital Partners
For Immediate Release: November 5, 2020
Benson Capital Partners announces its first investment from its recently launched fund, Benson Capital Fund I, in AxoSim, Inc., a New Orleans-based neurological drug discovery platform company. AxoSim’s proprietary technologies, NerveSim and BrainSim, empower scientists from leading biopharmaceutical companies to predict how the human nervous system will respond to therapies much earlier in the drug development process. Benson Capital Partners coinvested with Jefferson Capital Partners’ Opportunity Zone fund vehicle.
The development of new drugs for neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s, ALS, Parkinson’s, and MS is painstakingly slow and inefficient. Over 94% of neurological drugs that look promising in animal testing fail once they are tested in humans, driving the average cost and time to develop a single new drug to $2.6 billion and more than 10 years. AxoSim’s revolutionary BrainSim and NerveSim platforms provide a more clinically relevant way to test drugs by mimicking the structure and function of the human nervous system, accelerating the development of safer and more effective treatments.
“AxoSim’s technologies and team have the ability to accelerate new treatments for debilitating neurological diseases to the clinic. We are excited that Benson Capital Partners’ first investment is in a company with both local and global impact, addressing a large and important market.” says Mike Katz, Managing Director of Benson Capital Partners. “We were impressed by the management team and the impressive roster of global pharmaceutical companies they have already attracted as their clients. Through partnerships like this, Gayle Benson will continue to honor her late husband Tom Benson by fostering entrepreneurship and innovation in New Orleans and the Gulf South Region.”
“We are thrilled to partner with the AxoSim team in advancing critically important neurological drug development.” says Joe Truhe, a Partner with Jefferson Capital Partners. “We appreciate the opportunity to coinvest with Benson Capital Partners. We are completely aligned on the mission of providing much needed capital to the region, particularly New Orleans.”
AxoSim is led by CEO Lowry Curley, PhD and Chief Business Officer Ben Cappiello. The company was spun out of the lab of Michael Moore, PhD from Dr. Curley’s graduate research at Tulane University. In 2019, AxoSim significantly expanded their technology portfolio with the exclusive license of the BrainSim platform, pioneered by Thomas Hartung, MD, PhD out of Johns Hopkins University. With the combination of these two platforms, AxoSim has become a premier player in the neurological drug discovery field. Over the past four years, the company has grown to a team of 26 employees and is scaling up its production and service capabilities.
“Translating promising results in the lab to success in humans is the biggest obstacle the pharmaceutical industry faces, and nowhere is that more apparent than neurodegenerative diseases. Our BrainSim and NerveSim have the potential to bridge that gap and drive the next wave of therapies for patients in desperate need. Working with Benson Capital and Jefferson Capital and their extensive networks will help accelerate our mission to empower advancements in human neuroscience,” says Dr. Lowry Curley. “This investment, along with our growing revenue and new federal grants, provides the capital we need to scale our platforms into industry leading drug discovery solutions.”
AxoSim works with a growing number of the largest biopharmaceutical companies globally and their platform have a wide range of applications in both safety and efficacy, including neurological disease modeling. Additionally, they have been awarded over $4.2 million in federal grant funding to advance and validate their technologies, including their recent announcement of two new grants worth over $870,000 to develop a patient-derived model of ALS and further expand their BrainSim platform.
About AxoSim, Inc.
AxoSim, Inc. is a premier provider of neurological drug discovery platforms. The company’s proprietary BrainSim™ and NerveSim™ platforms provide accurate, predictive models of the peripheral and central nervous systems, rapidly delivering clinically-actionable human data early in the drug development process. AxoSim’s platforms have applications for drug efficacy, disease modeling, and toxicology. For more information, visit www.axosim.com
About Jefferson Capital Partners
Jefferson Capital Partners is a New Orleans-based private investment firm established in 2002 to provide growth capital to small businesses in the lower middle market. The firm has invested in more than 40 privately owned businesses, providing strategic guidance in addition to its financial support. Jefferson Capital is presently focused on non-control growth investments in the Southeast and is also actively investing in operating businesses via the Opportunity Zone program.
About Benson Capital Partners
Benson Capital Partners is a New Orleans-based, for-profit entity founded in 2019 by Gayle M. Benson, principal owner of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans. Its inaugural fund targets investment opportunities related to the Gulf South region and hopes to be a catalyst promoting economic development and growth in the Gulf South region by supporting the next generation of great entrepreneurs.