ST. LOUIS (February 19, 2013) — BioGenerator – the non-profit venture development organization of BioSTL – recently closed on a Spark Fund investment in Tansna Therapeutics, Inc., to support further commercialization of the company’s epilepsy drugs and to relocate the company to St. Louis from Iowa. Tansna’s development has also been supported by Alan MacInnes, an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) with the BioGenerator. The company will locate in the BioGenerator’s Accelerator Labs facility at CORTEX.
Tansna is a drug discovery and development company founded in 2010 to create and commercialize oral drugs to treat epilepsy. Nearly 1 in 26 people will develop epilepsy in their lifetime. A significant need for more effective and safer antiepileptic drugs remains – indeed, approximately 30% of epilepsy patients are refractory, or unresponsive, to currently available therapeutics. Tansna has discovered novel compounds that are highly effective in several animal models of epilepsy, including refractory epilepsy.
“We are pleased to lead this initial financing of Tansna, a company seeking to develop important new medicines for CNS diseases including epilepsy,” said Charlie Bolten, Vice President of the BioGenerator. “Tansna’s move is important validation of the collective efforts that are rapidly making St. Louis a leader in technology-based entrepreneurial activity.”
“Tansna has made exciting progress in its mission to bring life-changing therapies to patients in need,” said Dr. Robert Karr, President, Tansna Therapeutics, Inc. “The thriving life-sciences ecosystem and access to capital make St. Louis the right place for Tansna to take the next steps in its growth as a company.”
The BioGenerator investment is a partial match to a $200,000 investment commitment from the Missouri Technology Corporation and leverages a recent Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award received by Tansna. The work of Alan MacInnes as an EIR is supported through the St. Louis Bioscience Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge grant funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Agency (EDA).
BioSTL builds regional capacity and fosters collaborative efforts to advance innovation, entrepreneurship, and new company creation that capitalize on St. Louis’ world-class medical and plant biosciences and to promote economic growth and regional prosperity in St. Louis. Please visit www.biostl.org for additional information.
The BioGenerator, the non-profit venture development organization of BioSTL, facilitates the formation of successful, sustainable bioscience companies in the St. Louis region. It provides start-up bioscience companies with pre-seed and seed investment funds, shared lab space with specialized equipment, and in-depth management support. Please visit www.biogenerator.org for additional information.
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