Bridgewater Chapter Upcoming Events Join PCCI

Monday, February 12, 2007



Presenter: Barry Marrs, CEO of AthenaBio



The second installment of this new intermittent series features AthenaBio, a company with unique technologies for harvesting bioactive molecules from nature and creating enormously valuable products for healthcare and agriculture


Barry Marrs, CEO of AthenaBio, has previously presented the company to our group in March 2005. He will now address us again focusing on progress made during these last two years


AthenaBio now has two AgChem Companies as customers finding very high hit rates in AthenaBio's libraries. To prove that the libraries are equally useful for finding pharmaceutical leads a small subset of the library was screened against human kinases, matrix metalloproteinases, and caspases. Very good results have been found in all cases.


Focus is now on how to best sell these products. Since Big Pharma does not like to make library deals AthenaBio plans to take its best hits and develop pre-IND packages from several of them. This means getting structures of active compounds, having in vitro ADMET done, doing cell-based assays and maybe some whole animal efficacy testing where models are available. It is anticipated to spend $500,000 per lead, develop about five leads, and end up with at least one sale for $10MM, expanding as capital permits.



3 Major Issues


  1. Is AthenaBio being realistic in terms of cost and price?
  2. Should AthenaBio plan on making some derivatives in addition to the natural molecules? and,
  3. How much Cost/Value would that add.


AthenaBio believes that their starting material is unusually active and specific and that they therefore start out ahead of the usual game for screening and development. They only screened 400 samples against five kinases and one hit started out with an IC50 of 3nM against SRC kinase, with no activity against the other 12 enzymes that were examined. These characteristics are far along a drug development path, but are AthenaBio's starting material, because plants have played the role of medicinal chemists.


Updated Company presentations and discussions will take place from time to time. Objective is to demonstrate how these "Successful PCCI Graduates" have reached a new place in their evolution. They may still benefit from the kind of help only the PCCI format can provide.





6:30 - Cocktails & Dinner (Cash bar and special 2-entree buffet menu)

8:00 - Presentation by Barry Marrs Featuring Progress made since we last discussed AthenaBio in March, 2005

8:20 - Panel addresses 3 major issues for EyeIC

9:00 - Open discussion: members and guests



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