HILLSBOROUGH – Tellus Therapeutics inked a $2 million deal with Boston-based Xontogeny in May 2021, and the company filed details with the SEC this week.

Confirming the funding and the deal with Xontogeny, Jason Kralic, Ph.D., the co-founder and CEO, noted that the deal will allow the company to:

  • cover costs through its scheduled pre-investigational New Drug Application (NDA) meeting with the FDA later this year
  • expenses associated with the company’s filing for a “First-in-Neonate” clinical trial currently scheduled for 2022

Kralic also said the firm is planning another fundraiser. He did not specify an amount.

The company is developing treatments for the unmet needs of newborns, particularly those born prematurely, which occurs in 1 of every 10 births in the United States.

A premature birth results in a significantly increased risk for diffuse white matter (myelin) injury, called dWMI, which in turn could lead to life-long neurological impairments, including deficits in cognitive function and autism spectrum disorders.

Durham startup lands funding, to press ahead with neonatal brain treatment

The company is researching solutions to address dWMI, which is the most prevalent form of preterm neonatal cerebral injury and is a strong predictor of poor neurologic outcomes.

Ahead of the clinical trial, its lead dWMI program, otherwise known as TT-20, which aims to study and address motor complications and other disabilities associated with cerebral palsy in premature babies, the company will raise additional capital, Kralic told WRAL TechWire.

In addition to the $2 million raised in May 2021, Tellus received a $250,000 loan from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in December 2019, and raised a $75,000 convertible note from MedBlue.  The company also won $100,000 from a MassChallenge pitch competition and is supported by a $500,000 Duke Clinical & Translational Science Institute Award.