BioAdvance Funds TREVENTIS to Advance Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery
News Aug 11, 2009
BioAdvance, the Biotechnology Greenhouse Corporation of Southeastern Pennsylvania, announced a $550,000 seed-stage investment in TREVENTIS Corporation, an emerging life sciences company in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
TREVENTIS is focused on developing disease-modifying small molecule drugs and diagnostics for early stage treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other major neurodegenerative disorders.
The Company's proprietary discovery technology targets protein misfolding to inhibit the aggregation of amyloid proteins, including beta-amyloid (plaque) and tau proteins (tangles), both associated with the neuronal loss in Alzheimer’s disease.
TREVENTIS is headed by industry veterans, L. William McIntosh, MBA and William Wong, PhD. The company’s scientific founder is Donald F. Weaver, MD, PhD, a board certified neurologist and world renowned medicinal chemist.
TREVENTIS Corporation’s drug discovery efforts have lead to the elucidation of a novel shared conformational drug target that is essential for pathogenic protein misfolding and aggregation, and is found on many proteins that cause human disease including beta-amyloid (Aß) and tau.
The subsequent development of a high resolution model of this target has enabled scientists at TREVENTIS to rationally design single new chemical entities (tool compounds) that inhibit the misfolding of multiple AD targets. The company's optimized leads have appropriate drug characteristics including predicted oral availability, high blood-brain-barrier penetration, biostability and exceptional potency in inhibiting the formation of Aß and tau neurotoxic oligomers.
“TREVENTIS represents the type of company that merits our investment in this tight capital market: a unique scientific approach to a significant unmet medical need, using a technology platform that enables multiple product opportunities with the potential to address several disease areas,” said Barbara S. Schilberg, managing director and CEO of BioAdvance. “Given the growing burden of Alzheimer’s disease on our aging population, we think it is important to support continued innovation in an effort to find a disease-modifying drug.”
Tool compounds against this novel drug target have demonstrated statistically significant cognitive improvement in a double transgenic murine model of Alzheimer's disease. The company continues its focus on lead optimization with the purpose of electing a candidate for formal preclinical development.
With this new investment, BioAdvance has now committed $16.3 million in 26 seed-stage life sciences companies and 17 pre-seed investments. BioAdvance’s investments have enabled its portfolio companies to leverage an additional $981 million in subsequent capital and through M&A activity into the region.
Animal venoms are the subject of study at research center based at the Butantan Institute in São Paulo. But in this case, the idea is not to find antidotes, but rather to use the properties of the venoms themselves to identify molecular targets of diseases and, armed with that knowledge, develop new compounds that can be used as medicines.