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|Articles - January 2013|
|Monday, December 10, 2012|
BY LINDA BAKER
Multiple sclerosis is an immune disorder in which the body mistakenly attacks the myelin sheath surrounding nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. The resulting neurological symptoms can range from numbness and tingling to paralysis. Although existing therapies reduce inflammation caused by MS, researchers have long sought to develop a therapy that will actually repair the neurological damage.
Enter Artielle ImmunoTherapeutics, a Portland biotech company that will launch an FDA phase-two clinical trial this year for a new therapy researchers say appears to also reverse the dysregulation of the immune system associated with MS and promotes nerve regeneration. The company takes its name from a phonetic rendering of its proprietary technology — recombinant T-cell receptor ligands.
“There is recovery from the disease,” says Arthur Vandenbark, a founding Artielle scientist and a neurology researcher affiliated with the Portland VA Medical Center and Oregon Health & Science University. “That’s what’s so exciting.” The phase-two trial is considered a critical milestone, as it will show the drug can work in MS patients — and not just in animal models. A phase-one trial, indicating the drug’s safety, was completed a few years ago. According to OHSU’s tech-transfer office, Artielle represents the first OHSU drug discovery to be commercialized this far in the clinical trial process by a company that was formed and has remained in Oregon.
Oregon can be a tough environment for homegrown biotech companies, which often struggle to locate investment capital. Founded eight years ago, Artielle is one of the success stories. It has raised $25 million of venture capital, including $2 million from Northwest Technology Ventures and Reference Capital Management, both located in Portland, and $11 million from Sanderling Ventures in the Bay Area, where Artielle CEO Peter McWilliams is based.
The phase-two trial is funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs and will help Artielle achieve its next financial goal: a buyout or partnership with a pharmaceutical company to help bring the product to market.
Only one in about 5,000 biotech startups develops a commercial drug, but the Artielle team thinks they have a shot. The market is saturated with purely anti-inflammatory drugs, says McWilliams. But Artielle’s technology goes further. “This is a disease-modifying agent,” he says.
Friday, May 23, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
There are very different learning and communication styles. We all need to take charge of helping our bosses and peers get along with us better, and a first step is in knowing your own work style along these seven dimensions.
Friday, June 27, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER
Over the last several months we have seen a wave of cross-border acquisitions, primarily U.S.-based companies looking to purchase non-U.S.-based companies. There are a few reasons for this, but the main culprit is the U.S. corporate tax system. The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
BY ERIC FRUTS | OB BLOGGER
Last year, the housing market in Oregon—and the U.S. as a whole—was blasting off. The Case-Shiller index of home prices ended the year 13% higher than at the beginning of the year. But, was last year a blip, or a trend?
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY
How the president of BlueVolt spends his free time.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY JENNIFER MARGULIS
Don Gentry navigates Klamath Basin water rights.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Oregon is known for its green-minded citizens, and many workers are attracted to firms and organizations that practice green, not just pay lip service to it.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Tom Cox interviews Dr. Mark Goulston, author of Just Listen, Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.
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