SOURCE: Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation

January 24, 2008 12:32 ET

Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation Funds PharmatrophiX to Develop Drugs to Prevent Neurodegenerative Disease

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - January 24, 2008) - The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) announced today that it is providing a biotechnology founder's grant of $300,000 to PharmatrophiX, a start-up biotechnology company dedicated to developing a drug to prevent neuronal degeneration and improve brain function.

PharmatrophiX is developing a series of small molecule compounds called "neurotrophin mimetics" that mimic the function of neurotrophins. Neurotrophins are naturally occurring proteins that are responsible for the development, health and survival of neurons. These mimetics are the most promising compounds to date that target the degeneration caused by the toxic protein beta-amyloid which kill neurons, impair memory and may be the cause of Alzheimer's disease.

"We have funded Dr. Frank Longo's academic research on neutrotrophin mimetics for several years. We are now pleased to be able to further advance his drug discovery research as the first investors in his new biotechnology company based on technology developed at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and UC San Francisco. The PharmatrophiX neurotrophin mimetics show great promise and, if successful, will become an entirely new class of drugs for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's," said ADDF Executive Director Howard Fillit, MD.

PharmatrophiX is the first biotechnology company to receive a grant from ADDF's Fund for Alzheimer's Drug Discovery, an investment vehicle based on a for-profit venture fund model. The purpose of the Fund is to provide a catalyst for early-stage drug discovery and development research by making venture philanthropy grants to biotechnology companies and academic research centers.

"The funding will play a key role in accelerating our small molecule drug development programs," said Dr. Longo, PharmatrophiX's founder. "ADDF's combination of pioneering the venture philanthropy model and its exceptional sophistication in the Alzheimer's therapeutic area has provided PharmatrophiX with a very solid footing for achieving its next milestones."

About the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF)

The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) is a public charity established in 2004 to expand upon the programs initiated by the Institute for the Study of Aging (ISOA), a private foundation founded by the Estee Lauder family in 1998. The organization's sole mission is to accelerate drug discovery research to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer's disease, related dementias and cognitive aging through venture philanthropy. To date, ADDF and ISOA have awarded $28.7 million for 195 research programs and conferences worldwide. For more information about the ADDF, visit www.alzdiscovery.org.

Contact Information

  • CONTACT:
    Filomena Machleder
    Partnership Relations Manager
    Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation
    +1 212-901-8004
    fmachleder@alzdiscovery.org