CoCo Therapeutics created to develop new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease
King’s College London, The Wellcome Trust and Advent Venture Partners have announced the formation of a new U.K. biotechnology company, CoCo Therapeutics, to progress the research of Professor Jonathan Corcoran into the development of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.
The company will build on the success of research funded through the Wellcome Trust’s Seeding Drug Discovery initiative investigating the role of the retinoic acid receptor, RAR-alpha, and molecules that act on it in Alzheimer’s disease.
The neuroscience drug discovery unit at King’s, led by Professor Corcoran, has been optimizing compounds for treatment of CNS disorders since 2008. The group previously has shown that molecules that act on RAR-alpha can affect multiple parts of the Alzheimer’s pathway and have the potential to produce an effective therapy that would otherwise need several points of intervention from different drugs. CoCo Therapeutics now will take forward the lead compound into late-stage preclinical studies and clinical trials.
Funding has been provided by Advent Venture Partners, one of Europe's venture capital investors in technology and life sciences businesses. Dr. Raj Parekh, general partner at Advent, will be the founding chairman of the new company.
“Our research has shown early promise in this area and this partnership will enable us to progress the work further,” said Corcoran. “This is an exciting step forward in the search for effective Alzheimer's disease treatments.”
CoCo Therapeutics also has named Dr. Steve Butcher chief operating officer. Dr. Butcher was a founder and scientific director of the Fujisawa Institute of Neuroscience before holding management positions at Pharmacia. More recently, he held executive positions in biotechnology companies including BioImage and TopoTarget.
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