CoMentis, Inc. is focused on developing drugs to treat various central nervous system (CNS) disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. We cover the research and development spectrum from initial drug design through manufacturing and clinical trials.
The company, with headquarters in South San Francisco, was formed by the merger of Zapaq, Inc. and Athenagen, Inc. in 2006.
Zapaq, Inc. was founded based on the groundbreaking discoveries on structure, function, and inhibition of the beta-secretase (BACE) enzyme by Jordan Tang, Ph.D. (Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation) and Arun K. Ghosh, Ph.D., (University of Illinois at Chicago and Purdue University). This research showed promise for the development of a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and thus was spun out to create Zapaq, Inc. in 2002.
Athenagen, Inc. was founded in 2004 to develop therapies targeting a novel angiogenic pathway mediated by the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). This new pathway was discovered at Stanford University by a team led by John Cooke, MD, PhD. In 2006, Athenagen acquired Osprey Pharmaceutical Company and gained access to its library of neuronal NAChR cognition enhancers.
Later in 2006, Zapaq and Athenagen merged, combining their portfolios of compounds targeting Alzheimer’s disease as well as other cognitive disorders such as schizophrenia. The newly merged company changed its name to CoMentis in 2007. Promising results from the first BACE inhibitor to reach human trials, CoMentis’s CTS-21166, showed significant reduction of a key Alzheimer’s disease marker. These results were parlayed into a research and development collaboration with Astellas Pharma in 2008. The collaboration concluded in 2014 with ownership of the program returning to CoMentis.
CoMentis furthered strengthened its position as a world class CNS company in 2013 with the launch of a joint venture with Anvyl, LLC. This new venture, Alpharmagen, married CoMentis’s portfolio of nAChR agonists with Anvyl’s nAChR positive allosteric modulators (PAMs). The combination of these programs solidified CoMentis as a major player in the CNS space. Successful execution of CoMentis’s short term development plan in these three areas will have a significant impact on the lives of the millions of people impacted by these devastating diseases.