The founder and CEO of Research Triangle Park drug developer T3D Therapeutics says North Carolina Biotechnology Center support helped open the door to a recent $1.8 million federal Alzheimer’s disease research grant.

“NCBiotech’s vetting process and subsequent issuance of two very important early loans totaling $300,000 helped establish T3D as a company with a potentially significant therapeutic opportunity,” said CEO John Didsbury, Ph.D.

Recent WRAL TechWire coverage of the fight against Alzheimer’s:

  • T3D Therapeutics lands big grant
  • Biogen reports possible Alzheimer’s breakthrough
  • GSK invests in $25M Alzheimer’s venture fund
  • GSK, others team with NIH in $230M Alzheimer’s effort

“Young life science companies like ours have limited early funding options. The Biotech Center is an invaluable resource for early seed funding that enables the growth of startup companies like ours and, in the long run, benefits North Carolina.”

T3D just received the $1.8 million Small Business Innovation Research phase two grant from the National Institute on Aging, a branch of the National Institutes of Health. The company will use the funds to advance the development of its promising clinical-stage drug T3D-959.

T3D’s avant-garde approach is tackling Alzheimer’s as a metabolic disease involving dysfunctional energy metabolism caused by insulin resistance in the brain.

T3D-959 has completed phase one trials in healthy volunteers, which indicated that it carries a high level of safety. It’s now ready for phase two-a clinical testing in actual Alzheimer’s patients.

A multi-faceted drug targeting a multi-faceted disease

Didsbury says T3D-959 targets the multiple puzzles of Alzheimer’s disease. “In addition to the commonly discoursed beta-amyloid plaque and tau tangle defects, there is also inflammation, neuronal cell death, neurotransmitter deficits and decreased brain energy metabolism due to insulin resistance. T3D-959 is a multi-faceted drug with potential to improve the multiple defects or pathologies of Alzheimer’s disease, not simply one or two, and in so doing alter the course of disease.”

As part of the upcoming NIH-funded clinical trial, T3D will be conducting specialized diagnostics in partnership with the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI), a nonprofit organization founded in 2006 by Phoenix-based Banner Health, one of the country’s largest nonprofit healthcare systems. BAI is supporting Alzheimer’s research, detection, treatment and prevention programs around the world.

NCBiotech awarded a $50,000 Company Inception Loan to help T3D get established in 2013. That was followed by a $250,000 Small Business Research Loan in 2014 to support development of the company’s oral drug to treat cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s disease.

Now the company has not only the $1.8 million NIH grant, but has also raised over $1.3 million in angel funding .

“NCBiotech funding was an important catalyst that facilitated our early financing from angel investors,” said Didsbury. “No one feels the uplift more acutely than life science entrepreneurs when we get the chance to see our highly promising therapies come to life. The North Carolina Biotechnology Center helps make that happen.”

Note: Veteran journalist Jim Shamp is director of public relations for the N.C. Biotechnology Center.

(C) N.C. Biotech Center