GAINESVILLE & BOCA RATON, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research (the Institute) announced today that it has finalized a funding agreement with Prevacus, Inc., an early stage drug development company spun out of Florida State University to address the mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) market. Every year 4-6 million people suffer from mTBIs, many of which do not reach an emergency room and go unreported. Apart from analgesics for associated pain and anti-depressants, there are no approved pharmaceutical therapies for mTBI.
“These startups are developing solutions to some of today’s toughest healthcare and societal challenges, and our goal is to support them through the early stages so they can achieve product commercialization and success.”
The Institute works with Florida’s research universities and institutions to support new company creation and job growth, and the Seed Capital Accelerator Program bridges early funding gaps, enabling recipients to reach critical milestones and attract additional private investment capital.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (also known as "TBI") involve damage to structures of the brain as a result of external mechanical force, physical impact, blast waves, or projectile penetration. Brain function is temporarily or permanently impaired and can cause physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and behavioral effects. Outcomes can range from complete recovery to permanent disability or death. Prevacus is formulating therapeutics for nasal delivery to ease use in the field and to maximize delivery to the brain. The active ingredient simultaneously reduces edema, inflammation and oxidative stress.
“This funding comes at a critical time in our development,” said Jake Van Landingham, president of Prevacus. “Paired with the private funding we’ve raised as a result of support from the Institute, Prevacus will be able to complete preclinical proof of concept studies, develop a drug safety profile and enter into large animal toxicology studies. All important activities will be completed for entry into Phase I/II clinical trials in the coming year.”
“Prevacus exemplifies the great companies spinning out of Florida universities and research institutions,” said Jamie Grooms, Institute CEO. “These startups are developing solutions to some of today’s toughest healthcare and societal challenges, and our goal is to support them through the early stages so they can achieve product commercialization and success.”
About the Institute
Formed by the Florida Legislature in 2007, the Institute for Commercialization of Public Research is a non-profit organization that works collaboratively with the technology licensing and commercialization offices of Florida’s state universities and private research institutions to leverage a $2B+ research base and form investable companies that create clean jobs in new industries that are driving the global economy. Over 100 new company projects have been identified across the state, and in 2011 the Institute began deploying a $10M Seed Capital Accelerator Program which provides “repayable upon liquidity” loans to qualifying companies who must match the funding with private investment capital. Twelve companies have been funded since the program’s inception.
Prevacus Inc. is a start-up pharmaceutical company spun out of Florida State University in 2012. The focus of Prevacus is to provide a safe and effective rehabilitation for mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or Concussions). Its flagship product, Prevasol Nasal Spray, utilizes Neurosteroids to improve behavioral outcomes of brain injury (working memory, sensory perception and anxiety levels) as well as enhance pro-survival molecular mechanisms after TBI (edema, apoptosis, inflammation, anti-oxidant defense, glial-immune cell infiltration). The capability to administer this product both prophylactically and following injury gives its use and marketing ability a significant advantage.