Congenia spinned out from a collaboration between the University of Milan and the European Institute of Oncology in 2004, and was soon after acquired by Genextra SpA
. Congenia has since then been focused on developing small molecule drugs that target the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP), a protein channel with multiple macromolecular components which, together with another mitochondrial protein p66, appears to be associated with oxidative stress-induced cell death.
Congenia is one of the first pharmaceutical companies focused on targeting specifically the mPTP. Preclinical research indicates that this pathway plays important roles in multiple diseases, including myocardial infarction, stroke, neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases.