ProteKt secures funding for PKR kinase inhibitor-based therapies

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Israeli biotech company ProteKt Therapeutics, which is focused on developing new PKR kinase inhibitor-based therapies for Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, has secured $3.6 million in post-incubation financing.

The financing was led jointly by Canadian capital development fund Fonds de solidarité FTQ and South Korean pharma company Bukwang Pharmaceutical. Existing investors – FutuRx, OrbiMed, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Takeda Ventures, and RM Global Partners (RMGP) BioPharma Investment Fund.

ProteKt Therapeutics is looking to develop selective oral inhibitors of the kinase PKR for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory disorders. The Israeli company was founded by Carmel, Haifa University Economic Corporation, and the Carmel Innovations Fund based on the research done by Prof. Kobi Rosenblum of the Haifa University.

In 2015, ProteKt Therapeutics joined the FutuRx accelerator, where it had discovered and developed certain selective molecules by applying computational methods and validating the inhibitors in clinically relevant assays.

Didier Leconte – Vice-President for Investments, Life Sciences and Funds-of-Funds at Fonds de solidarité FTQ said: “The Fonds de solidarité FTQ’s investment in ProteKt is our first in the field of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

“We are delighted that ProteKt’s innovative approach will be combined with Québec’s expertise in medicinal chemistry in the fight against this devasting illness.”

ProteKt Therapeutics said that the proceeds from the financing will be mainly used for selecting a lead drug candidate molecule and for validating its neurotherapeutic effects in vivo.

Apart from that, the Israeli biotech company will look to launch the clinical development of a related diagnostic assay for patient selection and personalization of treatment.

Yotam Nisemblat – CEO of ProteKt Therapeutics said: “The new funding will enable us to select and validate novel and selective neuroinflammation inhibitors and continue their development all the way to clinical studies with our next financing round.

“In addition, adopting a precision medicine approach and developing a patient selection diagnostic assay should increase the likelihood for an effective treatment.”

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