Grand Rapids’ Tetra Discovery Partners Receives $5M in Grants


Tetra Discovery Partners, a Grand Rapids-based biotechnology company, has received two federal grants that together total $5 million. The funding will help assist the company’s efforts to develop therapeutic products for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders.

The company has received a $2 million Phase 2b Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute on Aging, which will supports Tetra’s Phase 1 multiple-ascending dose study of BPN14770 — an experimental treatment aimed at improving memory and slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s — in healthy, older volunteers.

The National Institute of Mental Health has provided $3 million in support of Tetra Discovery Partners’ discovery program in depression.

Tetra Discovery Partners has also closed a $5 million Series A Venture Financing round. With conversion of two debt rounds, the total Series A financing has reached more than $7 million.

“We are very pleased to receive this new financing which will enable Tetra to complete the necessary preparations for a planned Phase 2a study of our lead drug candidate, BPN14770, in Alzheimer’s disease during the second half of 2017,” says Mark E. Gurney, chairman and CEO of Tetra Discovery Partners.

The financing was co-led by Kalmazoo-based Apjohn Group and Holland-based Grand Angels, with the participation of previous investors as well as San Francisco-based Dolby Family Ventures, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, and other private investors.

As part of the Series A financing, Donald R. Parfet will also join the Tetra Board of Directors.

The company uses structure-guided drug design to discover inhibitors of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), which plays a key role in memory formation and learning.

Tetra Discovery Partners was a recipient of a NIH Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network cooperative research agreement, and also receives major funding through the National Institute on Aging, and the National Institute of Mental Health Small Business Innovation Research program. Along with its Grand Rapids headquarters, the company also maintains a business office in Cambridge, Mass.

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