South Side-based Cognitive Therapeutics
has closed on a $1.21 million Series A financing round that will fuel the development of a revolutionary drug that may halt the memory-robbing progression of Alzheimer's Disease.
The round was led by Ogden CAP of New York City and includes M5Invest Partners of Villanova, PA, the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, Innovation Works and several individual investors.
CT has taken a novel approach to Alzheimer's, targeting a protein that is believed to be at the root of the disease in its earliest stage. Studies from the world's leading academic laboratories show that the memory deficits are caused by an oligomeric protein, which results in the earliest changes seen in Alzheimer's disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment, a precursor to Alzheimer's.
Blocking the effects of this protein may free the memory and reverse the disease, says Susan Catalano, chief science officer. "What makes us unique is we are alone in blocking the effects of the oligomer. Others are trying to target other proteins. We think our drug will be effective throughout the course of the disease."
If successful, the drug would be administered in the early stage of memory impairment. Drug development is at least another five years away, followed by several years in the FDA clinical drug trial process. Several large pharmaceutical companies have shown interest in partnering with CI to help develop the compound, Catalano says.
Alzheimer's disease affects an estimated four and a half million people in the United States today, a number expected to exceed 12 million people by 2050.
"It's incredibly gratifying to know we might be in a position to impact this horrible disease," says Catalano. "I'm very excited about the future."
Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: Susan Catalano, Cognition TherapeuticsImage courtesy Cognition Therapeutics