AgeneBio’s breakthrough being evaluated in human clinical study
Indianapolis, May 12, 2010 – BioCrossroads’ Indiana Seed Fund, Indiana’s only targeted life sciences seed stage investment fund, has invested $300,000 in AgeneBio, an Indianapolis-based biotechnology start-up company focused on the development of therapeutic products for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other memory disorders.
More than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a number that is expected to grow exponentially over the next decade as a result of the aging population. Currently approved medications for AD treat only the clinical symptoms and have little impact on the progression of the disease.
AgeneBio’s research platform is based on intellectual property from Johns Hopkins University and has a number of new patents to broaden its approach to developing therapies.
“AgeneBio’s advancements in the treatment of memory-related conditions for the elderly could change the lives of millions of aging Americans and their families,” said David Johnson, President and CEO of BioCrossroads. “The company’s science is strong and the management team is comprised of seasoned executives from the pharmaceutical industry with highly applicable experience in the development and commercialization of drugs for psychiatric and neurological disorders.”
This is the tenth life sciences start up that has received funding from our Indiana Seed Fund. Our fund has become a critical resource for Indiana’s new companies holding great promise for the future of Indiana’s economy and encouraging breakthrough innovation from Indiana’s outstanding research community,” continued Johnson.
AgeneBio’s first therapy is targeted at a very early form of AD called Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI), a neurological condition that often progresses to Alzheimer’s disease and affects more than 3 million aging Americans. A proof of concept study is underway evaluating AgeneBio’s lead therapy in patients with this condition, and its early platform technologies are being explored for a number of neurological conditions.
“The investment by BioCrossroads will help us advance our research and formulations work so we can accelerate the development of our therapeutic program,” said Tim Parshall, CEO of AgeneBio. “We’ve been working closely with investors and consultants in Indiana and have been using a global sourcing network to bring our first product to phase II trials. Indiana’s positive entrepreneurial and scientific environment for life sciences companies was a significant factor in our decision to establish our company here. ”
If there is a positive outcome from the clinical study, AgeneBio will seek the use of an accelerated approval pathway from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to bring its first product to market, potentially shortening the normal pharmaceutical development timeline by as much as five years.
According to DataMonitor, aMCI-specific annual sales are expected to increase seven-fold from 2007 to $3.3 billion by 2018.
BioCrossroads (www.biocrossroads.com) is Indiana’s initiative to grow, advance and invest in the life sciences, a public-private collaboration that supports the region’s existing research and corporate strengths while encouraging new business development. BioCrossroads provides money and support to life sciences businesses, launches new life sciences enterprises (Indiana Health Information Exchange, Fairbanks Institute for Healthy Communities, BioCrossroadsLINX, and Datalys Center), expands collaboration and partnerships among Indiana’s life science institutions, promotes science education and markets Indiana’s life sciences industry.
About the Indiana Seed Fund I
The $6 million, return-driven Indiana Seed Fund was launched in June 2005 and is managed by BioCrossroads with funding from BioCrossroads, the Indiana Finance Authority and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. The Seed Fund provides working capital in the range of $50,000-$500,000 to promising Indiana life sciences companies at the preliminary stages of operation.
Established in 2009, AgeneBio is headquartered in Indianapolis and is focused on developing therapies to treat AD. The company currently has a therapy for Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment in Phase II clinical trials.