SOURCE: LifeSci Advisors

LifeSci Advisors

May 15, 2013 08:00 ET

LifeSci Advisors Initiates Coverage of Prothena Corporation

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - May 15, 2013) -

  • Recent Elan Spin-Out Is Well Capitalized With $120 Million in Cash

  • Lead Development Program, NEOD001 for Amyloidosis, Is in Phase I Testing

  • Available for Download at

LifeSci Advisors, LLC, a leading provider of investment research and investor relations services in the life sciences sector, today announced that it has initiated coverage of Prothena Corporation plc (NASDAQ: PRTA), a clinical stage biotechnology company that was founded in 2012 as a spin-off from Elan. Prothena is now focused on the development of therapeutic antibodies to treat AL and AA amyloidosis (NEOD001), Parkinson's disease (PRX002), and targeting melanoma cell adhesion molecule (MCAM) for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer (PRX003). The Company's lead clinical program, NEOD001 for the treatment of AL and AA amyloidosis, began Phase I testing in April of this year.

"The current treatment market for amyloidosis is dramatically underserved, with no treatments available that are able to reverse the underlying disease pathology and clear amyloid deposits," said Andrew I. McDonald, Ph.D., Founding Partner at LifeSci Advisors. "Prothena's NEOD001 development candidate has the potential to be the first disease modifying therapy for amyloidosis that actually helps patients recover from the disease, rather than just slowing their decline."

In 2012, the NEOD001 antibody development program was granted Orphan designation by the FDA. Prothena's IND application for NEOD001 has been accepted by the FDA for systemic amyloidosis, of which AL and AA are forms, and a Phase I clinical trial for NEOD001 in AL amyloidosis was initiated in April 2013. Administering the murine version of the NEOD001 antibody prolongs the life span of mice with clinical features of AA amyloidosis and shrinks the size of AL amyloidomas in mice relative to mice receiving injections of control antibodies. The multi-center Phase I clinical trial is designed to evaluate the safety and tolerability of NEOD001 in patients with AL amyloidosis and to determine a recommended dose for testing in Phase II trials.

Prothena's second development program is for the antibody PRX002 as a treatment for Parkinson's disease. PRX002 is currently being tested further in animal models. A Phase I clinical trial is expected to begin in 2014. Evidence suggests that symptoms of Parkinson's disease result from cellular damage and death caused by a-synuclein (a-syn) deposits in the brain. Preclinical studies have shown that administering the murine version of PRX002 to mice genetically engineered to model the disease clears a-syn deposits from neurons, preserving neuronal functioning and cognitive performance. While these transgenic mice initially have impaired motor control and spatial memory, their performance on these measures improves following chronic administration of the drug.

In a 48 page Initiation Report by LifeSci Advisors, we explain the scientific rationale supporting Prothena's development candidates. The report provides a deep look into the pre-clinical data supporting the NEOD001 clinical program for amyloidosis and for PRX002 in Parkinson's disease. The report examines the current therapeutic markets for these diseases, and critically examines competing products and development programs.

Dr. McDonald's full Initiation Report is available to download at no cost at the LifeSci Advisors website, In addition to this Initiation Report, LifeSci Advisors will also provide ongoing coverage and event-based research updates on the Company as developments occur.

The LifeSci Advisors research team is led by Dr. Andrew I. McDonald, an industry veteran with more than 15 years of healthcare industry experience. Prior to co-founding LSA, Dr. McDonald was the Senior Biotechnology Analyst at Great Point Partners, a leading health care investment firm with over $500 million under management. Before Great Point, he was Co-Head of Healthcare Research and Lead Biotechnology Analyst at ThinkEquity Partners, a boutique investment banking firm focused on growth companies. Dr. McDonald holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of California, Irvine, and, earlier in his career, worked as a medicinal chemist at both Pfizer and Cytokinetics.

About LifeSci Advisors:

LifeSci Advisors (LSA) is a leading research firm and communications consultancy dedicated to the life sciences industry. The firm provides strategic counsel, customized marketing communications, comprehensive research reports and investor relations services to companies that specialize in the discovery, development and commercialization of drugs, drug delivery systems, medical devices and diagnostics. To learn more about LSA, visit the company's website,

Important Disclosures:

The research report described in this press release is not intended as an offering, recommendation, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell securities. The securities discussed in LSA research reports may be unsuitable for some investors depending on their specific investment objectives, financial status, risk profile, or particular needs. Investors should consider LSA reports as only a single factor in making their investment decisions and should not rely solely on these reports in evaluating whether or not to buy or sell the securities of the subject company. LifeSci Advisors has been compensated by the company that is the subject of the report described and future research reports, investor relations services, and general consulting services. Please read each report's full disclosures and analyst background on the LSA website,, before investing. LifeSci Advisors is not a registered investment adviser or broker-dealer.

Forward-looking statements:

This press release contains forward-looking statements subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. These forward-looking statements represent LSA's judgment as of the date of this release. LifeSci Advisors disclaims, however, any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Contact Information