WALTHAM, Mass. and OKLAHOMA CITY, March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Zapaq, Inc., a drug discovery and development company, announced that it has obtained $6 million in private financing from two premier venture capital firms-Sanderling Ventures and Yamanouchi Venture Capital.
"This financing allows us to make significant advances toward the clinical development of a compound that could delay or even halt the progression of Alzheimer's Disease," said Zapaq President and CEO James Jenson, Ph.D.
The company's scientific founders, Jordan Tang, Ph.D., of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and Arun Ghosh, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois, have made a series of groundbreaking discoveries about a family of enzymes (known as aspartic proteases) believed to play a key role in Alzheimer's. Zapaq is now building on that work to develop a drug that will block the progression of the disease.
"At Sanderling, we have been carefully observing scientific progress in the area of Alzheimer's Disease for 20 years," said Robert McNeil, Ph.D., a Managing Director of Sanderling Ventures who has also been named Chairman of Zapaq's Board of Directors. "With its unique technology and experience, Zapaq represents the first true opportunity to develop a therapy that will treat Alzheimer's at its source." Paul Grayson, a Director of Sanderling Ventures, will also join the Zapaq Board.
Zapaq is also using its work on aspartic proteases as a platform for discovering drugs to treat infectious and cardiovascular diseases.
The company previously received more than $1 million in seed financing from the Oklahoma Life Sciences Fund and the Institute for the Study of Aging, a biomedical venture philanthropy founded by the Estee Lauder Trust. "With the help of our initial investors and our new venture partners, Zapaq can now proceed with selecting and developing a compound suitable for testing in human clinical trials for Alzheimer's Disease," Jenson said.
Zapaq, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing therapeutics that target aspartic proteases, a group of enzymes central to a variety of human diseases, including Alzheimer's. The company is headquartered in Waltham, MA and has research and development operations in Oklahoma City, OK.
Contact: James Jenson