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Tranquis Therapeutics Launches to Develop Immuno-Neurology Therapies

July 9, 2020

Tranquis Therapeutics launched with a $30 million series A funding to focus on the discovery and development of therapies to treat neurodegenerative and aging-related diseases.

Photo: Sanjay Kakkar, president and CEO of Tranquis

Remiges Ventures and SR One led the financing, which included participation from Vivo Capital, Hillsborough Venture, Correlation Ventures and other investors.

The company’s therapeutic approach grows out of research at the Stanford laboratory of Tranquis’ scientific founder Edgar Engleman, which indicates that myeloid immune cell dysfunction underlies a variety of nervous system disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and age-related neuropathology.

“Worldwide, diseases of neurodegeneration and aging place an enormous burden on patients, families and societies, and we are inspired by the potential for this groundbreaking immuno-neurology platform to have an important impact on health and quality of life,” said Sanjay Kakkar, president and CEO of Tranquis.

Tranquis is discovering and developing a portfolio of small molecules that cross the blood-brain barrier. The company said its lead program, TQS-168, has demonstrated in vitro the ability to restore a key metabolic pathway it has shown is dysfunctional in the myeloid immune cells of patients with neurodegenerative diseases, as well as highly encouraging in vivo effects in challenging neurodegenerative disease models.

The company will use the proceeds from the financing to complete the non-clinical development work for TQS-168, and advance it toward clinical proof of concept in orphan diseases, such as ALS or frontotemporal dementia, while further expanding its discovery platform and pipeline with next generation compounds that target more prevalent diseases such as PD, AD and age-related pathologies. Tranquis has also identified an on-target biomarker that will help inform and possibly accelerate its clinical development program.

“Tranquis’ novel approach targeting the immunometabolism for neuroinflammation shows great promise, and we look forward to the initiation of clinical development, planned for next year,” said Taro Inaba, founder and managing partner at Remiges Ventures. “If successful, this could represent a new class of medicines for neurodegenerative diseases, where the need for new therapies is significant in part because of historical development challenges with other approaches.”

CEO Kakkar is a biotech entrepreneur and executive with more than 25 years of experience in multinational, early stage and high growth enterprises, including serving as CEO at Peptilogics, Armetheon, and Trigen (which he also co-founded), and the founder and chairman of Jai Medica.

Tranquis’ chief business officer, Titus Plattel, has 25 years of experience leading life sciences organizations in operations, corporate development, and product planning and commercial roles. His executive positions include chief operating officer at early development stage companies, VP of Corporate Development at Bavarian Nordic, and senior marketing and commercial positions at Tolerx, Therion Biologics, Biogen, and Amgen.

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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