Durham biotech start-up Tellus Therapeutics was recently featured on WRAL’s TechWire after it received a major investment that will allow it to go forward with developing a promising new treatment for brain injuries in premature babies. According to TechWire, Boston-based Xontogeny provided the seed money to advance Tellus Therapeutics’ TT-20 program, which focuses on treating brain lesions in premature infants fewer than 32 weeks in gestational age.
About 10 percent of babies born each year in the United States are premature, and they are at an increased risk for “white matter injuries” that can lead to life-long neurological impairments in cognitive function and autism-spectrum disorders. Right now, there are no FDA-approved treatments for such injuries, and Tellus Therapeutics is developing a treatment using small molecules from human breast milk. The molecules have been shown in animal testing to reverse motor defects due to white matter brain injuries and improve a child’s prognosis, according to the article.
Smith Anderson venture attorneys Will Pugh and Merrill Mason represented Tellus Therapeutics in the seed investment transaction. Smith Anderson has a long track record of venture capital transactions and has broad experience on both sides of the venture capital aisle, representing investors and companies alike in a wide range of transactions.