Therex LLC, Formed by UB Inventors, to Focus on Drugs to Combat Infections, Inflammatory Diseases

Release Date: September 3, 2002 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach has licensed to Therex LLC, a company formed by three UB faculty members, patents and technologies based on their prior research with salicylanilide chemical compounds.

Further research with the compounds as a potential active ingredient in personal-care, pharmaceutical and animal-care products through Therex LLC may lead to new anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial drug products for the treatment of oral, gastrointestinal and skin diseases.

"The primary goal of Therex LLC is to co-develop, with large pharmaceutical companies, new generations of similar drugs targeted to infections and inflammatory diseases that affect mucous membranes and skin," said Joseph Dunn, Ph.D., managing partner of Therex LLC.

Therex LLC recently entered into a strategic alliance with a major pharmaceutical company to develop drugs based on its two most recent generations of salicylanilide compounds. Partnering with a major company is critical for a small biopharmaceutical company like Therex LLC. New drug applications can take anywhere $25 to $400 million in funding over the course of several years before any revenue is recognized.

Robert Coburn, Ph.D., professor in the UB Department of Chemistry, Richard Evans, Ph.D., professor in the UB Department of Oral Biology, and Robert Genco, D.D.S., UB vice provost and SUNY Distinguished Professor in the UB Department of Oral Biology, are the inventors of the compounds and cofounders of Therex LLC, a spin-off of Therex Technologies, Inc.

Kenneth Walters, Ph.D. and Dunn, Therex Technologies co-principals and current Therex LLC managing partners, in 1996 licensed from UB the 5-alkylsulfonylsalicylanilide chemical compounds developed by Coburn, Evans and Genco.

From the initial license to Therex Technologies, and through to the formation of Therex LLC, Coburn, Evans, and Genco have been actively researching salicylanilides. In June, UB was issued U.S. patent 6,407,288, "Naphthylsalicylanilides as Anti-Microbial and Anti-Inflammatory

Agents." In the same class of compounds as aspirin, naphthylsalicylanilides are a new class of salicylanilides and exhibit high potency of antibacterial activity against oral, gastrointestinal and skin diseases. Foreign patents are pending.

Therex LLC now holds all previous license agreements between Therex Technologies and UB pertaining to salicylanilides compounds, including the recently issued patent. Dunn said Therex has received more than $2 million in grants and private funding for the development of its core drug Trifluorosalâ„¢, which is based on the compounds licensed from UB. It plans to begin phase I and phase II clinical trials of Trifluorosal' for use against acne.

The technologies developed by Coburn, Evans and Genco were patented and licensed by the Intellectual Property Division of the UB Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR). STOR is UB's primary technology-transfer and commercialization office, supporting product and business development from the laboratory to the marketplace through its Intellectual Property, Research Funding and Commercialization divisions.

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