Stroke is a silent killer, striking men and women of any age. Symptoms often go unnoticed for hours. Meanwhile, damage to the brain becomes more permanent, even fatal. If stroke victims get to a hospital, there are few treatment options. Survivors face staggering medical bills, rigorous rehabilitation, missed work, and a life forever altered. Zocere, Inc. wants to change this. We are developing generation next of stroke therapeutics. One of our drugs has the potential of being the first neuro-protectant on the market. Halting damage. Saving lives. We want to tell you about it.
Stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide, claiming more than 130,000 lives each year in the United States alone. It’s also the leading cause of long-term disability. In 2010, the cost of health care, medications, and missed work in the U.S. was $73.7 billion. Stroke is not an old person’s disease either; it can strike at any age. Death rates are higher for African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans than whites.
Current treatment options for stroke are too little, too late. This is particularly true for blood clot-induced ischemic stroke—which account for 87 percent of strokes. It’s been almost 20 years since Activase® (altiplase/tPA) was launched as a treatment for ischemic stroke. Few patients benefit from Activase, mainly because they don’t get to the hospital in time for the drug’s narrow treatment window.
All this may be changing, and in the process, creating a unique opportunity. Zocere, Inc. is developing a post-stroke injectable drug designed to protect patients from brain injury by arresting the progression of neurological damage caused by reduced blood flow. Our goal is to reduce deaths, long-term disability and the financial impact of stroke. Thus far, our research is promising. If we are successful—and we are working hard at it—our drug will be the first and possibly only neuro-protectant injectable therapy in the market.
“There is a significant lack of effective stroke therapies. Filling the gap in treatment represents a significant opportunity for patients, physicians, drug developers, and investors.”Wayne Laslie, CEO
More than eighty percent of all stroke cases are ischemic insults caused by blocked blood flow and oxygen deprivation to a focal brain area, typically due to a blood clot. Ischemia leads to massive cell death resulting in an irreversibly damaged infarct core with surrounding, potentially salvageable area called the penumbra. Reperfusion* with tPA is the only pharmacologic therapy. However, rapid reperfusion, although necessary for the restoration of brain metabolic activity, comes with additional health risks.
The development of neuro-protection strategies is badly needed to protect brain cells from both ischemia and reperfusion injury and to increase the time window for thrombolytic treatment. A number of cellular and molecular mechanisms have been studied, but none have provided a solution.
Zocere, Inc.’s drug is a derivative of the brain-specific STEP protein tyrosine phosphatase, which is an important downstream regulator of NMDAR-dependent neuronal injury. Other studies that have examined the importance of NMDAR blockade as a strategy for ischemic stroke treatment have failed. Our technology is different. By targeting downstream signaling, molecules that are activated following NMDAR stimulation may protect neurons from damage and obviate the deleterious consequences of NMDAR antagonism. This is a significant advancement.
Our stroke drug candidate is a cell-permeable recombinant peptide that has been overexpressed in E. coli and purified using standard laboratory procedures. The peptide can cross the blood-brain barrier, is resistant to degradation, and can bind constitutively to its substrates. It has been demonstrated in rodent models of transient ischemic stroke that intravenous administration of the peptide will significantly reduce brain damage. This promising new tool for ischemic stroke therapy has the potential to be the first neuro-protectant drug in the market.* Tissue damage caused when blood supply returns to the tissue after a period of ischemia or lack of oxygen.
“The development of neuro-protection strategies is badly needed to shield neurons from both ischemia and reperfusion injury and widen the time window for thrombolytic treatment.”Surojit Paul, PhD
Inventor & Associate Professor
Department of Neurology
University of New Mexico
For additional information on our technology, contact us.
Zocere™ Research and Development Services support the pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields of neurologic therapeutics and diagnostics.Our team of pharmaceutical industry professionals earned their reputation and expertise with top global pharma companies. We offer partners deep experience in drug research and clinical development along with pre-commercialization and major market and niche product launches in U.S. and international markets. We are available on a consulting basis or as contract members of the client’s executive management team. To learn more about how we can help you advance ideas, contact us.
“In the United States, it takes an average of 12 years for an experimental drug to travel from the laboratory to patients. Without a comprehensive development and commercial plan in place from the outset, the vast majority of product candidates will fail before reaching the market. This is why it’s critical that those with drug candidates engage early with a reputable partner such as Zocere that offers services to progress the development and commercialization pathway.” Wayne Laslie, CEO Zocere, Inc.
No one understands the critical need for more effective stroke therapies better than the pharmaceutical industry. Current therapies are often too little, too late or “last ditch efforts” and not widely in use.
Zocere, Inc.’s injectable brain-specific STEP peptide-based drug is designed to protect patients from brain injury and arrest the progression of neurological damage after an ischemic stroke. Research to date is encouraging. However, to accelerate the development and commercialization process, we are seeking synergistic partners within the pharmaceutical industry who bring financial support, expertise, and resources to continue validation of our protein, advance our IND application and FDA approval, and thus accelerate commercialization.
The ideal strategic partners are:
If you are interested in becoming an active partner in Zocere, Inc.’s generation next in stroke therapy, we encourage you to contact us to discuss partnership opportunities in more detail.
“Our goal is to attract a pharmaceutical partner who can bring research and monetary resources to accelerate our path to IND and FDA approval.”Wayne Laslie, CEO
Zocere, Inc. is a New Mexico-based biotech company that is developing novel therapeutics for neurological diseases, including stroke, and offering services to other entities developing stroke-related diagnostics and treatments. We have licensed patented technology for a derivative of the brain-specific STEP protein, tyrosine phosphatase, developed at the University of New Mexico. This technology is the foundation for a novel, generation next therapeutic treatment of stroke that shows promise of becoming the first injectable neuroprotectant drug in the market.
“We’ve coupled a strong leadership team and board to accelerate the development and commercialization pathways of our stroke therapeutics with a tight financial strategy to leverage investment capital.” Wayne Laslie, CEO Zocere, Inc.
Proud supporter of the American Stroke Association
We are focused on advancing our technology, establishing industry partnerships and securing investment in our company. Please check here often for news on our activities and progress. If you have questions, insight you'd like to share or if you are a member of the media and would like to request an interview, we encourage you to contact us. Conversations are always welcome.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., July 15, 2015 – – Zocere, Inc., a New Mexico-based pharmaceutical company announces issuance of U.S. Patent No. 9,068,172 for its biologic-based “brain saving” drug. Derived from a STEP protein, the drug is a cell-permeable, recombinant peptide that shows promise as a potent neuroprotectant when administered post stroke. (continued…)
SAN FRANCISCO, January 7, 2015 – – Each year, there are an estimated 800,000 acute ischemic strokes in the United States and more than two million worldwide, causing severe damage to the victim’s brain that often results in disability and even death. What’s troubling is that there is just one (continued…)
The editors of CEO/CFO Magazine went one-on-one with Zocere CEO Wayne Laslie for an inside look at the company neuroprotectant drug candidate for stroke, its market potential, commercialization strategy, and an update on fundraising. Read the article>
Zocere, Inc. is generation next in stroke therapeutics. If you’re interested in learning more about our research and the neuro-protectant stroke drug we have in development, or you’d like to discuss investment and partnership opportunities, we encourage you to contact us.