SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Accelerator Life Science Partners (Accelerator), a leading life science investment and management firm, today announced that it has launched Proniras Corporation, a company developing tezampanel for the treatment of a variety of seizure disorders. Proniras has licensed exclusive global rights to tezampanel (LY-293,558), a small molecule compound that has been evaluated as a potential therapy for acute migraine in more than 400 patients to date, from Eli Lilly and Company. The launch of Proniras is supported by an initial financing from investors including Alexandria Venture Investments, ARCH Venture Partners, Eli Lilly and Company, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., Watson Fund, L.P., WRF Capital and WuXi AppTec Corporate Ventures.
Recent studies demonstrate that tezampanel effectively arrests seizures in rodents exposed to the nerve agent soman1 and is potentially superior to benzodiazepines, which are the current standard of care for a variety of seizure disorders. Data from previous preclinical studies of tezampanel suggest that the compound elicits its central nervous system effects by antagonizing glutamate signaling.
“Treatment of seizures that result from either physiologic or pharmacologic stimuli is suboptimal for many patients,” said Christopher Toombs, PhD, DABT, co-founder and chief scientific officer at Proniras. “A robust body of clinical and preclinical data supports the potential utility of tezampanel as a novel therapy for seizures and seizure disorders. We believe that tezampanel could address significant unmet need for a safe, effective and durable seizure therapy.”
Dr. Toombs was most recently co-founder and chief scientific officer of Faraday Pharmaceuticals, a Seattle-based biotechnology company. Previously, he held senior leadership positions at Cylerus, Inc., Ikaria, Inc. and Amgen, Inc. Accelerator will manage the company’s executive operations.
“With tezampanel as its lead asset, Proniras is being established with a more advanced product development program than is typical for a start-up biopharmaceutical company,” said Thong Q. Le, chief executive officer at Accelerator. “As a result, we believe that Proniras has substantial near- and mid-term opportunities for value creation in an indication that has not seen significant innovation in many years.”
About Proniras Corporation
Proniras Corporation is a Seattle-based biopharmaceutical company focused on developing tezampanel as a medical countermeasure for nerve agent-induced seizures. The development of tezampanel in this indication is being funded in whole or in part with federal funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response; Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, under Contract No. HHSO100201800008C. For more information, please visit www.proniras.com.
About Accelerator Life Science Partners
Accelerator Life Science Partners catalyzes the development and commercialization of breakthrough biotechnology innovations. Accelerator is a trusted partner that provides the complete business, scientific and financial toolkit necessary for successfully establishing and operating an early-stage biotechnology company. Accelerator nurtures its companies across all stages and in all facets of development, setting them on a path that offers the greatest chance for long-term success. Among these key resources are committed investment capital, experienced start-up management, world-class scientific expertise and state-of-the-art laboratories and shared facilities.
The company is uniquely positioned to provide this unprecedented collection of capabilities and resources through its partnership with top-tier investors, seasoned executive managers and world-class research institutions. The value of these collective resources has been validated over more than a decade of successful investing in life science companies that are helping to shape the rapidly evolving future of medicine and healthcare. For more information, please visit www.acceleratorlsp.com.
1 Apland, JP, Aroniadou-Anderjaska, V, Figueiredo, TH, Green, CE, Swezey, R, Yang, C, Qashu, F, and Braga, MFM. Efficacy of the GluK1/AMPA receptor antagonist LY293558 against seizures and neuropathology in a soman-exposure model without pretreatment and its pharmacokinetics after intramuscular administration. JPET 2013: 344-133-140.