Friday, October 10, 2008

UVA Spinout Catena Pharmacueticals Licenses GPCR Tech from School

Catena Pharmaceuticals said this week that it has obtained a worldwide, exclusive license to intellectual property surrounding anti-angiogenic G-protein coupled receptor antagonists from the University of Virginia Patent Foundation.

The licensing agreement covers multiple patents and patent applications covering GPCR chemistries and methods discovered by UVA researchers Kevin Lynch and Timothy Macdonald.

Lynch and Macdonald identified antagonists of a subset of GPCRs specific for lysophosphatidic acid, an angiogenic molecule that promotes tumor growth. Autotaxin, the enzyme that manufactures LPA, is a recognized oncogenic protein.

Financial terms of the licensing deal were not disclosed.

Catena, which recently spun out of the university, also said that it has received an undisclosed amount of seed financing from Golden Pine Ventures to support product development at the company.

Ian Mehr, managing director of Golden Pine Ventures, will serve as president and director of Catena. Lynch and Macdonald will serve as vice president of biological sciences and vice president of chemical sciences, respectively, and will sit on Catena’s board.

From Biotech Transfer Week

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