Aeromics is a clinical stage drug development company developing Aquaporin inhibitors for the treatment of cerebral edema in stroke, based on pioneering discoveries by Dr. Peter Agre (2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry). Cerebral edema is predictive of patient outcome in ischemic strokes, and yet there are no approved therapeutics that effectively target and treat cerebral edema as a causal driver of stroke severity. Despite the vital role of aquaporins in maintaining water homeostasis and its implications in various disease states, therapeutic agents targeting aquaporins have remained elusive until now. Aeromics’ drug candidate, AER-271, targets aquaporin-4 (AQP4), the primary water channel in the brain, and has best-in-class credentials for acute intravenous therapy for stroke-related cerebral edema. AER-271 has proven pharmacology demonstrating control of cerebral edema in models for ischemic stroke, cardiac arrest, and water toxicity.
Antag Therapeutics is a Copenhagen-based preclinical stage biotechnology company focused on developing therapies for dietary-related metabolic diseases. The company’s current lead therapy is a glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide receptor (GIPR) antagonist for inducing weight loss in obese patients with Type-2 Diabetes. The Company’s technology is based upon decades of incretin physiology and diabetes research from the laboratories of Professors Mette Rosenkilde and Jens Juul Holst at the University of Copenhagen, which played a pivotal role in the establishment of dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitor and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist drug classes.
Basking Biosciences, Inc. is developing the first reversible thrombolytic therapy for Acute Ischemic Stroke (AIS). The company was founded in 2019 by Bruce Sullenger, PhD of Duke University and Shahid Nimjee, MD, PhD of The Ohio State University. Basking is focused on exploiting the properties of RNA biology to develop aptamers with high affinity and specificity against proteins involved in coagulation and hemostasis. DTRI-031 is an RNA aptamer that binds to von Willebrand Factor (vWF) and has demonstrated potent vessel recanalization ability across multiple murine and canine preclinical models. DTRI-025 is a sequence specific reversal oligonucleotide that rapidly and durably neutralizes the pharmacologic effect of DTRI-031.
BioKier is developing a proprietary oral treatment for diabetes based on understanding the mechanism of the anti-diabetic effects of metabolic surgery and malabsorption as previously described. Independent of its weight loss effect, metabolic surgery substantially improves or even resolves diabetes within days in 80 to 90 percent of obese Type 2 diabetes patients. This surgery is equally effective in non-obese diabetes patients. BioKier has devised a proprietary method to mimic the effects of intestinal shortening surgery and potentially improve or resolve diabetes without the physical trauma and cost of bariatric surgery. Diabetes has long been recognized as a major contributor to the development of cardiovascular disease. Heart disease and stroke are the major causes of death and disability among people with Type 2 diabetes.
GI Windows is a clinical-stage medical device company developing a non-surgical approach to create anastomoses in the GI tract. Their patented self-assembling magnets are designed to enable an incision-less and durable intestinal bypass to treat chronic diseases, such as Type-2 Diabetes and Obesity, without the cost and invasiveness of surgical interventions.
Gila Therapeuticsis a clinical-stage biotherapeutic company focused on pharmacological treatment of obesity employing intra-oral application of naturally occurring satiety hormones to induce early fullness, leading to weight loss. Targeting a unique and recently discovered direct neural pathway between the tongue and brain, Gila is developing formulations that when applied to the tongue prior to meals directly stimulates the brain’s satiety centers intended to reduce food intake without any systemic exposure.
Gila, based in Minnesota, was founded in 2014 by Andres Acosta, Sergei Zolotukhin and Thomas Vasicek who serves as the CSO. Scott Schorer serves as the CEO.
Ischemia Care is a commercial-stage diagnostic company developing a platform of RNA expression blood tests to determine the cause of ischemic stroke and TIA. ISC’s first test, ISCDX, launched upon the completion of the BASE clinical trial (NCT02014896) which enrolled over 1,700 subjects at 20 major hospitals in the US. ISCDX seeks to characterize the underlying cause of the roughly 35% of incident strokes known as cryptogenic, enabling physicians to better care for their patients and more effectively prevent recurrent strokes. ISCDX was launched commercially in 2019.
Kantum Pharma is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies to prevent or reduce inflammation initiated through the uridine diphosphate (UDP)-glucose/P2Y14 purinergic receptor signaling pathway in organs such as the kidneys, lungs and female reproductive tract. The Company’s initial small molecule therapeutic program, KB-1801, has been shown preclinically to reduce renal inflammation and has the potential to transform the treatment paradigm for acute kidney injury, which occurs in 30% of cardiac surgeries and kills over 300,000 people each year in the US. Kantum is pursuing additional applications of this technology for therapeutics and diagnostics to ameliorate the impact of numerous inflammatory disorders.
Mellitus is dedicated to advancing diabetes detection and monitoring through products based on GCD59, a biomarker of glycemic control that is unique because of its direct relationship to the complications of diabetes. Our premier application is a patient-friendly test for gestational diabetes, enabling more timely intervention to improve the health of both mother and child. We plan to commercialize our products through strategic partners as we expand indications to benefit all individuals with diabetes.
Remedy Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately-held, late clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing and bringing lifesaving treatment to people affected by acute central nervous system edema. Remedy is developing CIRARA for the improvement of functional outcomes by reducing the formation of cerebral edema in patients following Large Hemispheric Infarction (massive ischemic stroke affecting the total or sub-total territory of the middle cerebral artery). There are currently no therapeutic approaches targeted at reducing the development of edema early after Large Hemispheric Infarction, and CIRARA is now in Phase 3 trials with the aim of meaningfully reducing the high mortality and morbidity of this disease.
Remedy Pharmaceutical’s CIRARA program was acquired by Biogen in 2017.
ZZ Biotech LLC is a clinical stage company developing innovative biologic treatments for ischemic stroke. ZZ Biotech was formed in 2006 to focus on the development of 3K3A-APC, a novel second-generation variant of a naturally occurring human protein, activated Protein C (APC). The major unwanted side effect of APC is bleeding, which limits its pharmacologic dosing in man. 3K3A-APC has markedly reduced anticoagulant activity, but preserved cell-protective and anti-inflammatory activities compared to wild-type APC. In animal models of stroke 3K3A-APC has shown an advantage over wild-type APC in enhanced efficacy and reduced risk for bleeding. Additionally, the combination of 3K3A-APC and tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA) provides benefits well beyond those found with either agent alone.
ZZ Biotech has completed a multicenter Phase 2 clinical trial (RHAPSODY) of 3K3A-APC in moderate to severe acute ischemic stroke patients treated with intravenous tPA, intra-arterial thrombectomy, or both. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health through a pair of NeuroNEXT grants. RHAPSODY established the maximally-tolerated dose (MTD) of 3K3A-APC in ischemic stroke patients and demonstrated substantial reduction in both total hemorrhage volume and hemorrhage incidence among patients treated with 3K3A-3PC vs. those treated with placebo.