Thursday 8 December 2016

Pharma startup Neuropath gets one of Feeney fund's last investments

Published 09/10/2016 | 02:30

Chuck Feeney, with former President Mary Robinson, at a ceremony to honour the Irish-American philanthropist in Dublin Castle in 2012. Photo: Collins
Chuck Feeney, with former President Mary Robinson, at a ceremony to honour the Irish-American philanthropist in Dublin Castle in 2012. Photo: Collins

Chuck Feeney's Atlantic Philanthropies has invested almost $2.5m in Irish pharmaceuticals startup Neuropath Therapeutics.

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The company aims to develop novel treatments for central nervous system disorders.

It's likely to be one of the last investments by Feeney under the Atlantic umbrella. It is due to conclude what it calls "grantmaking" by the end of this year, before concluding all of its operations in 2020.

The investment is revealed in recently filed Companies Registration Office documents, which show that Exeter Associates Limited - a subsidiary of Atlantic based in its Bermuda Office - gave Neuropath $2.4m on August 18.

Neuropath's directors are listed as James Peter Downey and Julie Anne Kelly.

It is listed on Trinity College Dublin's website as a campus company that "will progress the commercial development of novel compounds for the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disorders, and related disorders with unmet need."

Atlantic - which has been particularly active in support of third-level projects - did not respond to a request for comment.

The Irish-American Feeney has been active with Atlantic in the Republic of Ireland since 1987.

It has invested around $1.2bn here, with beneficiaries including St James' Hospital, Barnardos and the Childrens' Rights Alliance.

In Northern Ireland, Atlantic invested $570m between 1991 and 2014.

Feeney made his multi-billion dollar fortune in the duty-free industry before transferring a large portion of his wealth to Atlantic in the 1980s.

Initially, Atlantic made donations on an anonymous basis before Feeney unmasked himself in 1997 ahead of a court row between his Duty Free Services business and the luxury goods conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy.

Atlantic's Dublin office was recently put on the market with a guide price of €3.3m as part of the wind down. It has also made investments in Cuba, Vietnam, South Africa and the United States.

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