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April 7, 2008

Traxion Therapeutics Receives TEDCO Grant

Funding Will Help Company Develop Pain Medications

Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager

Traxion Therapeutics, a bwtech@UMBC Incubator company, has received a grant from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), the state’s leading source of funding for seed capital and entrepreneurial business assistance for the development, transfer and commercialization of technology. The $74,018 award, from TEDCO’s Maryland Technology Transfer Fund (MTTF), will help finance the young company’s development of new medications to treat neuropathic pain. Currently, the company is working with pain researchers at the University of Maryland Dental School to assess the viability of its lead product, TXT-0200.

Neuropathic pain afflicts more than 10 million Americans. Sales of prescription drugs for neuropathic pain are increasing at roughly 7 percent each year. Traxion has assembled a diversified portfolio of novel, proprietary small molecule products to address this market opportunity. These products use more selective, mechanism-based approaches which exploit recent scientific discoveries in order to develop more effective, better tolerated treatments for neuropathic pain. Traxion plans to take these products through to Phase II proof of concept studies and then enter worldwide corporate partnerships for later-stage development and commercialization.

Founded in 2005, Traxion is yet another company successfully launched through the bwtech-affiliated ACTiVATE program. Traxion CEO Kerrie Brady is a member of the program’s class of 2005. ACTiVATE, which trains women with significant business or technical experience to start companies based on technologies developed at area universities and research institutions, has graduated 72 women and launched 15 companies since its inception three years ago.

“Traxion is a pioneer in developing more effective medications to treat neuropathic pain and improve the lives of the people it afflicts. We are grateful for the support of TEDCO and look forward to eventually bringing our products to market,” said Brady.

“Traxion is developing several new products for the treatment of intractable pain. We are pleased that TEDCO has recognized the potential of their work and is providing this stimulus for the growing health care industry in the Baltimore region,” said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC.

“TEDCO was created to help early stage companies with promising technologies grow and succeed. Traxion fits this purpose perfectly as there is a great deal of potential for the company to leverage research findings to develop groundbreaking medicines,” said Renée Winsky, president and executive director of TEDCO. “Already the company has made great progress and TEDCO is proud to support its ongoing work.”

bwtech@UMBC is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a total development capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), an independent entity, was established by the Maryland General Assembly in 1998 to facilitate the creation of businesses and foster their growth in all regions of the State. TEDCO’s role is to be Maryland’s leading source of funding for seed capital and entrepreneurial business assistance for the development, transfer and commercialization of technology. TEDCO connects emerging technology companies with federal laboratories, research universities, business incubators and specialized technical assistance. For the fourth consecutive year, TEDCO was recognized as the most active early/seed stage investor in the nation in the July 2007 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine.

Posted by dshapiro at April 7, 2008 3:47 PM