Avilex Pharma Receives Wellcome Trust Translation Award To Advance Their Ischemic Stroke Program And Raises In Total 28 MIO DKK (3.75 MIO EUR)

The Danish biotech company Avilex Pharma announces that it has received a 18 million DKK (2.4 million EUR) Translation Award from the UK based Wellcome Trust to fund the development of a novel drug candidate for acute treatment of ischemic stroke. Ischemic stroke is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide, with very few treatment options currently available.

Avilex Pharma is developing a drug for the treatment of ischemic stroke based on a novel concept of inhibiting the neuronal scaffolding protein, PSD-95. Inhibitors of PSD-95 may provide a safe and efficient mechanism for alleviating the neuronal damage caused by ischemic stroke. Avilex Pharma is employing a novel concept for inhibiting PSD-95 using dimeric ligands that target two protein modules of PSD-95 simultaneously. This has led to identification of a lead compound, UCCB01-144. The specific design of UCCB01-144 provides several key advantages such as exceptionally high affinity to PSD-95, increased stability, and enhanced in vivo neuroprotective properties. UCCB01-144 is an extensively optimized dimeric PSD-95 inhibitor and a preclinical lead candidate for the treatment of ischemic stroke.

The award from the Wellcome Trust will fund the preclinical development of UCCB01-144. CEO and co-founder of Avilex Pharma, Kristian Strømgaard, comments: “We are very pleased that Avilex Pharma has received this Translation Award that will provide substantial funding of our activities within ischemic stroke. We are looking forward to collaborating with the Wellcome Trust over the coming 2.5 years. This award enables us to transform the pioneering work obtained by our scientists into a comprehensive drug development program that we hope will lead to a novel clinical candidate for treatment of ischemic stroke.”

In addition to the award from the Wellcome Trust, Avilex Pharma has raised additional equity funding of 10 mio DKK (1.35 mio EUR) from Novo Seeds, the early stage investment arm of Novo A/S. Together with the Translation Award from the Wellcome Trust, Avilex Pharma has raised new funding of in total 28 million DKK (3.75 mio EUR).

For additional information contact:
Kristian Strømgaard, Professor, PhD
Interim CEO, CSO, Avilex Pharma
Phone: (+45) 5123 6114
E-mail: kristian.stromgaard@avilexpharma.com

About Avilex Pharma

Avilex Pharma is a Danish biotech company founded in 2012 by Prof. Strømgaard and Assist. Prof. Bach from University of Copenhagen. Avilex Pharma aims to develop efficacious and safe drugs for the treatment of ischemic stroke, a leading cause of death and disability. The lead candidate – UCCB01-144 –targets the intracellular scaffolding protein, postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD- 95), which bridges the glutamate receptor subtype, the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS). The specific design of UCCB01-144 provides several key advantages such as exceptionally high affinity to PSD-95, increased stability and enhanced in vivo neuroprotective properties and UCCB01-144 is a preclinical lead candidate for the treatment of ischemic stroke.


About the Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. The Wellcome Trust support bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine. Our investment portfolio gives us the independence to support such transformative work as the sequencing and understanding of the human genome, research that established front-line drugs for malaria, and Wellcome Collection, our free venue for the incurably curious that explores medicine, life and art. www.wellcome.ac.uk

About Novo A/S

Novo A/S, the holding company in the Novo Group, is responsible for the management of the assets of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, which are currently valued at more than USD 30 billion. Novo A/S is a private limited liability company fully owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. Besides being the major shareholder in Novo Nordisk A/S and Novozymes A/S, Novo A/S provides seed and venture capital to development stage companies and takes significant ownership positions in well-established companies, within life science and biotechnology, as well as manages a broad portfolio of financial assets. www.novo.dk

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