Slater-Backed Company Acquired by Novartis

Former Drug Development Firm, Founded in Rhode Island in 2010, is Part of Multimillion-Dollar Deal

Providence, R.I. – December 18, 2020 – The Slater Technology Fund, Rhode Island’s oldest and most active seed-stage investment fund, applauds the team at Cadent Therapeutics, who today announced that the company has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Novartis [NYSE: NVS] in a deal worth up to $770 million.

Cadent Therapeutics was formed through a merger with Slater portfolio company Mnemosyne Pharmaceuticals, which was founded in 2010 by former Pfizer scientists Frank Menniti and Bert Chenard, along with Boston-area entrepreneur Kollol Pal, and later joined by former Pfizer chemist Bob Volkmann. Mnemosyne developed a drug discovery program targeting the NMDA receptor in the brain to create novel therapeutics to treat a broad range of central nervous system disorders, including depression and schizophrenia. The company closed on a Series A financing round before moving to Cambridge in 2015 as Luc Therapeutics. In 2017, Luc Therapeutics merged with Ataxion to become Cadent Therapeutics.

Slater invested a total of $1.5 million in Mnemosyne Pharmaceuticals, which became an ownership stake in Cadent Therapeutics. This is the fourth positive liquidity event for Slater in the past two years. Former Mnemosyne founder Frank Menniti went on to start another promising life sciences venture in Rhode Island, MindImmune Therapeutics, in which Slater has also invested.

“It is incredibly gratifying to see seed investments blossom in so many ways. Congratulations to Jodie Morrison and her team on creating such a great outcome for all, and to the Mnemosyne founders, who teamed with Richard Horan and Slater a decade ago,” said Thorne Sparkman, managing director of Slater. “This kind of success quite literally fuels the impact that entrepreneurs like the Mnemosyne founders can make by augmenting Slater’s evergreen investment in the next generation of ventures. We cannot wait to pay it forward.”

About Slater Technology Fund

The Slater Technology Fund is an evergreen not-for-profit seed fund dedicated to supporting new venture development in Rhode Island. More than two decades ago, Slater launched a platform for seed-stage investing in Rhode Island; today, the organization remains the most active seed-stage investor in the state. Slater has invested in hundreds of technology ventures in the region, achieving multiple exits while also generating economic impact returns in the form of high-wage jobs.  For more information, visit

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For more information, contact:
Laura Nelson or Sage Morander
SVM Public Relations