Small molecule drug, drug repurposing & novel chemistry
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Etheros is a biotech company pioneering a new class of small molecule drugs based on Nobel Prize-winning fullerene chemistry. Their lead compound, which mimics enzymes called superoxide dismutases that protect cells from oxidative and inflammatory injury, has already shown promise in animal studies for a wide range of diseases, including Parkinson's Disease, familial ALS, and asphyxia-induced brain injury. Etheros believes their compounds' novel catalytic activity makes them more potent than older drug classes that have struggled in human neuroprotection trials. The company plans to invest several hundred thousand dollars in improving its IP portfolio and developing an executable plan to prove the mechanism in humans, which could lead to more capital raising in the future. The technology has potential in a wide range of therapeutic settings, with huge commercial potential. The company has generated efficacy data in a range of animal models and has confidence in securing robust IP protection. One of their lead compound's benefits is that it has increased lifespan in wild-type mice by 11%. Etheros sees a path to use their technology in large markets by starting in niche indications and proving the therapeutic concept before raising the capital necessary to fund trials in more common diseases.
Aims, Hypothesis & Results
The aim of the Etheros project is to develop a new class of small molecule drugs based on Nobel Prize-winning fullerene chemistry that mimic enzymes called superoxide dismutases. These enzymes protect cells from oxidative and inflammatory injury, which neuronal tissue is particularly sensitive to. The hypothesis is that these compounds will provide a more potent neuroprotective effect than older drug classes that have struggled in human neuroprotection trials. The results so far have been promising, with the lead compound extending mouse lifespan, improving cognition in elderly mice, and proving neuroprotective in a wide range of other double-blind, placebo-controlled animal studies, ranging from a Parkinson’s Disease model in primates, via a familial ALS model in mice, to an asphyxia-induced brain injury model in pigs.
Short term: 2 years (Clinical application: rare disease and military application; lead compound with method of use patent)
Medium term: 3 years (Clinical application: PD; novel chemistry with CoM patent)
Long term (Clinical application: AD, dementias, aging; novel chemistry with CoM patent)
Required Funding: $350K pre-seed round
Duration: 8+ Years
Etheros is focused on developing a new class of small molecule drugs based on Nobel Prize-winning fullerene chemistry that mimic enzymes called superoxide dismutases to protect cells from oxidative and inflammatory injury, particularly in neural tissue. The project has generated promising efficacy data from diverse animal models, demonstrating high potency and good pharmacokinetics, with a high level of brain penetrance, oral bioavailability, and minimal metabolism. However, there are risks involved, including the failure of novel chemistry, the choice of first-in-man indications, and CMC requirements for a new drug class. In addition, there are macro risks associated with the biotech venture industry, including funding cycles and potential drug pricing reform in the US.
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