Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: The Meaning Behind Company Names #2
This is the second Blog Post in a series that examines the meaning behind company names in the rare disease and orphan drug space. This Blog Post takes a look at two companies that are developing treatments for the rare disease, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) :
I – Akashi Therapeutics
Akashi Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based clinical stage biotechnology company, is developing therapeutics for DMD and rare pediatric diseases. Akashi Therapeutics is founded by patient organizations and biotechnology stakeholders with the mission of “of transforming Duchenne from a 100% fatal, aggressive muscle-wasting disease to a chronic, manageable condition.”
In June 2014, DART Therapeutics changes its name to Akashi Therapeutics. DART stands for “Disease Action Research Therapy”. In March 2011, DART Therapeutics sets up an affiliate, Halo Therapeutics, to license in and develop the IND-stage DMD drug candidate HT-100, Halofuginone Hydrobromide. HT-100 has Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) in both the US and the EU.
HT-100 FDA ODD Database Record
|Generic Name:||Halofuginone hydrobromide|
|Orphan Designation:||Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy|
|Orphan Designation Status:||Designated (DMD)|
|FDA Orphan Approval Status:||Not FDA Approved for Orphan Indication|
|Sponsor:||Halo Theraeputics, LLC Riverside Center Suite 2-400 Newton, MA 02466|
The derivation of Akashi Therapeutics’ name:
“The new company name is derived from the Akashi-Kaikyo bridge in Japan which has the longest central span of any suspension bridge in the world. The name symbolizes how Akashi Therapeutics was created to save children’s lives by rapidly bridging the gap between promising science and effective treatments for Duchenne … The Akashi bridge in Japan was built after a ferryboat accident caused many children to tragically die. Like the engineers who built its namesake bridge, our company is pushing the envelope of what is possible to turn tragedy into opportunity. By focusing multiple drugs in our pipeline on the same indication, we are able to progress faster and more efficiently toward new therapeutics to save this generation of children with Duchenne”.
Recent developments for DMD development at Akashi Therapeutics:
• July 2014 – HT-100 Gets FDA Fast Track Designation
• September 2014 – Acquires global rights to novel DMD treatment from Tonus Therapeutics.
The three potential products for DMD in Akashi Therapeutics’ pipeline can be referenced in the Pipeline section of the company’s website.
II – Solid Ventures
Solid Ventures, is a biotechnology company founded by a father, Ilan Ganot, after his son, Eytani, is diagnosed with DMD. Mr. Ganot quit his job in London, moved to the Boston area, raised $17 million, and founded Solid Ventures. Eytani’s name translated from Hebrew to English is “solid”, and thus the company’s name.
With the financial support from JPMorgan (Mr. Ganot’s former employer) and other life sciences venture capitalists, Solid Ventures plans to acquire or license promising projects from other companies or academic laboratories, “move them through the earliest stages of testing with the help of contract research organizations, and ultimately partner or sell them to bigger pharmaceutical companies that can take them to market.”
Please Note: “Jigsaw” by User: Amada44 (Own work) [Public domain] | Wikimedia Commons.