Jeffrey Mosher talks with Mark Gurney, CEO/Chairman of one of Michigan 50 Companies to Watch in 2018, Tetra Discovery Partners of Grand Rapids MI
Tetra Discovery Partners Inc., Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo
Tetra Discovery Partners is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing drugs to treat diseases of the central nervous system such as Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, Fragile X syndrome and other neuro-developmental disorders, and traumatic brain injury. 2018 is a break out year for the company as our lead program enters mid-stage human clinical trials for the treatment of Fragile X syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease.
Tetra holds key patents protecting the drug molecule that we developed. Our company pioneered the design of selective inhibitors of an important family of brain enzymes. Our team was the first to publish three- dimensional structures of this family of enzymes. We were the first to synthesize drug molecules with this novel mechanism of action, and the first to enter such a drug into a human clinical trial. Our discoveries build on more than 30 years of research in multiple university labs that were recognized by the Nobel Prize. The Alzheimer's drug being developed by Tetra will provide symptomatic cognitive benefit to patients and has the potential to slow disease progression. This is a novel mechanism of drug action that has not been tested previously in patients.
The company has raised $7 million in private investment from VC and angel investors; this financing has leveraged $21 million in grants and contracts from the National Institutes of Health. The company completed a $5 million Series A financing in 2016.
Our company benefits from the diversity of our staff. Our team of scientists has included men and women of diverse national origin (US, China, Kenya, Philippines, and India). Recent community education outreach by Tetra staff includes participation in the BrainSTEM day at Grand Rapids Public Museum. Our company partners are disease foundations, government scientists, academic scientists at US and international research universities, small and mid-size contract service providers, and US or international contract research organizations.
Tetra Discovery Partners has a "can do" culture of rapid, accountable decision making in a flat organizational structure. By being nimble, the company controls costs and drives projects towards success. Our success is measured by the impact the drugs we are developing will have on patients and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease, Fragile X syndrome, and other brain disorders.
Mark Gurney, Chairman & CEO
Founded in 2011; current leadership since 2011
Primary business: Pharmaceutical R&D
Sites in Michigan: 2
Full-time equivalent employees in 2017: 7
To Listen to their full interview please click on the embedded SoundCloud PodCast shared below!