Founded on the September 18th, 2017 and headquartered near Düsseldorf, Germany, Priavoid GmbH is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of innovative disease-modifying therapies for patients with severe neurological disorders. Priavoid’s pharmaceutical development programs are exclusively based on D-enantiomeric peptides (all-D-peptides).
The most advanced drug in our pipeline is named PRI-002. The orally available clinical stage drug candidate directly eliminates toxic amyloid-beta (Aß) oligomers for the causal treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Oral administration resulted in significantly improved cognitive read out in three different in vivo models.
The First-in-Human phase I single ascending dose (SAD) and the multiple ascending dose (MAD) clinical trials with PRI-002 were successfully completed, demonstrating excellent safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetic profiles. The MAD part included administration of PRI-002 up to 320mg/subject/day orally for 28 days to healthy volunteers.
The orally available drug candidate PRI-003 has accomplished successful PoC in an in vivo disease model of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Priavoid accelerates this research program towards clinical development.
Priavoid’s development pipeline is targeting additional orphan and non-orphan CNS disorders caused by misfolded peptides, incl. tauopathies and Parkinson’s disease (PD).
Priavoids aim is to become a leading Central Nervous System (CNS) development company.
Our global growth strategy has three elements, centered around developing innovative therapies for CNS disorders, with a particular focus on drugs for treatment of Alzheimer’s diseases.
1. Maximize PRI-002 commercial opportunity
We are working to maximize the opportunity for PRI-002, which as the first causal therapy to treat Alzheimer’s disease has the potential to improve the lives of patients around the world. After successfully completing a Phase I clinical trial, we plan to conduct a Phase II clinical trial.
2. Focus development resources on value-creation
To maximize the value of our pipeline, we are utilizing our development resources on our portfolio of CNS drugs. Developing CNS candidates matches best the company’s organizational resources, and allows us to generate substantial benefit for patients suffering from these diseases.
3. Out license or monetize non-core assets
Partnering is an important part of our overall strategy and we are actively talking to potential partners about our innovative pipeline of novel compounds, to ensure these compounds are profiting from the best expertise to bring them to market.
Dr. Sabine Willbold
Dr. Sabine Willbold studied Chemistry at the University of Bayreuth (Germany) and received her PhD in anorganic chemistry. She gained industrial experience in a couple of companies and went back to academic research in the field of peptide synthesis at the University of Jena (Germany). In 2002, she joined the Jülich Research Centre at the Institute of Analytics (ZEA-3), where she became deputy director in 2011. She is expert in a broad band of chemical analytics and collected experience as CEO since 2017. She has recently joined Priavoid to serve as Managing Director.
Dr. Antje Willuweit
Managing Director and Director of Preclinical Research
Dr. Antje Willuweit studied Biology at the Technical University of Darmstadt (Germany) and received her PhD from the Max-Planck-Institute in Bad Nauheim (Germany). She gained 9 years of industrial experience in the following Biotech companies: Artemis Pharmaceuticals GmbH, Evotec Neurosciences AG, Evotec AG. In 2011 she joined the Jülich Research Centre at the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-4), where she established her own research group. In total, she has got 20 years of experience with animal models in preclinical research, including at least 13 years in the field of preclinical drug testing against Alzheimer´s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. She co-founded Priavoid in 2017 and is since then Director of Preclinical Research. Recently, she became also Managing Director in parallel.
Dr. Dagmar Jürgens
Director Clinical Research
Dr. Dagmar Jürgens studied Agricultural Sciences at University of Göttingen (Germany) and subsequently earned her PhD at the University of Gießen. She gained experience at national and international levels since 1990, after founding and leading a small and medium-sized biotech enterprise for more than 15 years. In 2006 she changed her focus to Clinical Research and Drug Development. She furthered her experience in Phase II and III Clinical Trials, whilst working at the German Competent Authority (BfArM) and with international Contract Research Organizations. She has been working at the Jülich Research Center since 2011, first at the Technology Transfer Department, and then at the Institute of Complex Systems (ICS-6), where she is the Project Manager for Preclinical and Clinical Research. She co-founded Priavoid in 2017 and is since then Director of Clinical Development.
Dr. Knut Adermann
Dr. Knut Adermann has more than 20 years experience in peptide therapeutics discovery, translational medicine and clinical development, with a focus on the chemistry, manufacturing and control of novel, peptide active pharmacological ingredients. He holds a PhD in organic chemistry and has co-founded several biotech start-ups, pursuing indications in the fields of antivirals and antibacterials. He was involved in the successful sourcing of seed and round A financing for various start-up companies and has served as managing and scientific director of these ventures. As a consultant in peptide development, he has also supported various preclinical and clinical programs in cardiology, hematology and metabolic diseases. He is an author of more than 90 publications and is a co-inventor of numerous internationally filed patents and patent applications. He co-founded Priavoid in 2017 and is since then Director of CMC.
Dr. Gunther Kauselmann
Director of Quality Management and Regulatory Compliance
Dr. Gunther Kauselmann studied Biology at the University of Hamburg and completed his PhD at the Center for Molecular Neuroscience Hamburg (ZMNH). In 1998 he joined the startup company Artemis Pharmaceuticals GmbH in Cologne, which was renamed Taconic Biosciences GmbH after being acquired by Taconic Biosciences Inc. in 2009. At Taconic Dr. Kauselmann held several management positions in scientific operations, quality management and regulatory compliance with increasing responsibility, before being appointed as Vice President of Operations to oversee the production process at the Cologne site. During his professional career he also graduated in Drug Regulatory Affairs and obtained his Master´s Certificate from the University of Bonn. He co-founded Priavoid in 2017 and is since then Director of QM and Regulatory Compliance.
Head of Study Coordination
Stefanie Simons has completed an apprenticeship to assistant in a law office and more than 10 years of professional experience as Senior Project Coordinator at Global Research Services and Clinical Trial Assistant at UCB. She obtained comprehensive knowledge in conducting international Phase I – III studies as well as on non-interventional studies with a focus of Alzheimer´s, Parkinson, rheumatoid arthritis and pediatrics.
Prof. Dr. Dieter Willbold
Full Professor for “Physical Biology” at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf and Director at the Institute of Complex Systems, Structural Biochemistry (IBI-7) at the Forschungszentrum Jülich,
is biochemist, biophysicist, structural biologist, and a long-standing expert in the field of AD.
He developed the innovative treatment strategy to target severe neurodegenerative disorders and is
coinventor of multiple novel drug candidates. Prof. Dr. Willbold has profound expertise in the technology platform applied to identify and optimize D-peptide based drug candidates for the treatment of neurological disorders with high medical needs.
Prof. Dr. Detlev Riesner
Professor Dr. Riesner held the chair of Biophysics at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf from 1980 to 2006, was dean of the Science Faculty and prorector of research. Since his retirement in 2006, he was member of the board of trustees of Heinrich Heine University until 2017. During his academic career Professor Dr. Riesner worked as a research assistant at Princeton University and as a visiting professor at the University of California, San Francisco and Academia Sinica (China). Professor Dr. Riesner is a co-founder of Qiagen N.V., member of the Supervisory Board and held the position as Chairman of the Supervisory Board from 1999 to 2014. He was also a member of the Supervisory Boards of NewLab Bioquality AG, Erkrath, Drevo AG, Cologne, Alantos AG, Heidelberg and AC Immune, Lausanne. Furthermore, Professor Riesner was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Friedrich-Löffler Institute, Isle of Riems and PrioNet and APRI, both in Canada. He received awards from the Federal Government, from the State of NRW and the Max Planck Society. Prof. Dr. Riesner works with Priavoid as a business angel, partner and mentor.
Scientific Advisory Board
Prof. Dr. Jörg Breitkreutz
Full Professor and Director of the Institute of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics at the Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf, Germany, and president of the non-for-profit International Association of Pharmaceutical Technology (APV), is a long-standing expert in the field of drug formulations, orphan drug development and process analytical technologies.
Dr. Waleed Danho
A world-wide renowned peptide chemist (Ph.D. from the University of Aachen (RWTH), Aachen, Germany) used to serve as an adjunct professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, USA. He held the position of Distinguished Research Leader at Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. in Nutley, New Jersey. He is a long-standing expert in drug discovery of peptide-based drugs. He authored and co-authored over 250 scientific articles and 21 patents in the field of peptides, acts as reviewer for renowned scientific journals and received multiple scientific awards. He serves as a council member of the American Peptide Society and a board member of trustees of the Boulder Peptide Society.
Prof. Dr. med. Gereon R. Fink
Full Professor and Director of the Department of Neurology at the University Hospital Cologne and Director of the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine, Cognitive Neuroscience (INM-3) at the Research Center Jülich. He is a member of the Council of the German Neurological Society (DGN) with clinical specialization on cognitive neurology and dementia, stroke and neurorehabilitation, and movement disorders. His scientific interests include stroke and neurohabilitation, movement disorders and deep brain stimulation, and non-invasive neuromodulation including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).
Prof. Dr. med. Oliver Peters
Full Professor at Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, is currently chief of the branch Geriatric Neuropsychiatry at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité - Campus Benjamin Franklin. He is head of the Memory Clinic and Dementia Prevention Center at Experimental Clinical Research Center (ECRC), Charité - Campus Berlin Buch. He is principal investigator at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and board member of the German Dementia Competence Network (KND e.V.). He is interested in the establishment of, and has extensively worked on, new biomarkers for early diagnosis of chronic neurodegenerative diseases. He has participated as Principal Investigator in numerous observational and interventional clinical trials.
Prof. Dr. Holger Stark
Full Professor of the Institute of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, is an expert in the field of Medicinal Chemistry (i.a. drug research for CNS drugs/neurotransmitters, dopamine receptor subtypes, NMDA receptors and lipid signaling) and co-inventor of Wakix®, the first histamine H3 receptor antagonist into market.
Prof. Dr. med. Inga Zerr
Full Professor at the Institute of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Director of the German Reference Centre for Prion Disease Surveillance at the Department of Neurology at Georg-August-University Göttingen. She is member of the German Neurological Society (DGN) and German Society for Liquor Diagnostics in Neurology (DGLN). Her main research interests include genomics-, proteomics- and interactomics-based scientific approaches to investigate molecular mechanisms and post-translational modifications underlying neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease as well as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. One of her specific scientific interests in the field of neurodegenerative disorders are patients with rapidly progressive Alzheimer´s disease (rpAD).
- Successful completion of Phase Ib MAD clinical trial with daily dosage up to 320 mg confirming the excellent safety and tolerability profile of PRI-002
- Closure of first seed investment by private equity firm Riesner Verwaltungs GmbH
- Acquisition of the PRI-002, PRI-003 and PRI-004 IP portfolio from Forschungszentrum Jülich
- Successful completion of the first-in-human phase I SAD clinical trial for PRI-002
- Start of the Phase I MAD clinical trial for PRI-002 in December 2018
- Founding of Priavoid
- Initiation of series A financing
- Basic Research at Forschungszentrum Jülich
- Research funding by Forschungszentrum Jülich, Helmholtz Gesellschaft, HHU Düsseldorf, VW Stiftung