A Yale start-up known as Anthos Pharmaceuticals is competing in the NIH-sponsored Neuro Startup Challenge for the rights to license a patent for an Alzheimer’s disease drug. Unlike current available treatments, this therapeutic aims to directly target Alzheimer’s disease itself by preventing hyperactivity of a protein in the brain known as Tau.
The Neuro Startup Challenge is jointly supported by the Center for Advancing Innovation, the Heritage Provider Network, and the NIH. The competition began in August with 74 teams and is divided into two major phases.
In January, Anthos successfully completed the first phase, which consisted of developing an business executive summary, promotional video, social media campaigns, and a public voting period.
The second phase concludes April 17th and involves the creation of a formal business plan and live video pitch to judges at the NIH and potential funders. Winners of this phase will start raising capital
and begin the processes of incorporation and patent licensing.
Anthos is supported in their efforts by the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute and is mentored by Susan Froshauer, PhD, president and CEO of CURE; Jim Heym, PhD, senior director of Life Sciences Venture Development at UConn; and Gus Lawlor, managing director of HealthCare Ventures.
The team includes co-leaders Levi M. Smith, PharmD, a Cell Biology doctoral candidate, and Santiago V. Salazar, a Genetics doctoral candidate. Other team members include Meina Wang, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow in Pathology; Jian Shao, a second-year MBA student; Nathan D. Williams, a Cell Biology doctoral student; Robert Fernandez, a Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry doctoral student; and Brenden Barco,a Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology doctoral candidate.