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Company Launched for Tissue Regrowth, Inflammation Drugs

Eva Turley

Eva Turley (London Health Sciences Centre)

7 October 2014. Novare Pharmaceuticals, an enterprise commercializing research on a protein that can treat inflammatory diseases and help create new cells for rebuilding tissue, such as after a mastectomy, began operations today under the auspices of Allied Minds, a company creating start-ups based on scientific discoveries at U.S. universities and national labs. The new company, based in Boston, expands on the work of ProGDerm, an earlier Allied Minds-supported start-up.

Novare aims to bring to market therapies that act on the Receptor for Hyaluronan Mediated Motility or RHAMM, a protein expressed in breast tissue, but also associated with spontaneous cell movement and stem cell differentiation. Regulation of this protein is believed to help moderate destructive inflammation, reduce scarring, and promote growth of adipose or fat tissue under the skin.

The company is expected to develop treatments based on RHAMM for disorders affecting the lungs, such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia in premature infants and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in older adults. RHAMM regulation is also associated with localized stimulation of adipose stem cells near the skin, that offers an opportunity to regenerate breast tissue for women who have undergone a mastectomy. In addition, RHAMM regulation is believed to help reduce fibrous scarring, which was the focus of ProGDerm, Novare’s predecessor.

Novare licensed research on RHAMM by Eva Turley at London Health Sciences Centre in Ontario, Canada in collaboration with Mina (M.J.) Bissell at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. Turley, who serves as Novare’s chief scientist, found RHAMM regulation offers potentially safe and effective processes for regenerating breast tissue and treating disorders caused by inflammation and fibrosis. The company also licensed more RHAMM compounds from Turley’s London lab that increases Novare’s library of peptides that bind to RHAMM, thus adding more applications for this technology.

Allied Minds, also based in Boston, forms new companies based on research at universities in the U.S. as well as federally-sponsored labs, and provides financing and management to get their operations off the ground. Enterprises started by Allied Minds are founded as subsidiaries, then provided with management and financing to develop its products or services and revenues, leading to liquidity through acquisition or initial public offering. The company says it has formed 20 subsidiaries, including partnerships with federal research labs and the pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb.

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