M3 Biotechnology announced it has changed its name to Athira Pharma. The name reflects the company's mission to restore lives by advancing bold therapies, thoughtfully and urgently.
"Athira is committed to positively changing the course of human health. Throughout our development efforts, we are maintaining a constant awareness of the individuals we hope to positively impact with our treatments. Our new name, Athira, aligns with this focus," said Leen Kawas, President and CEO of Athira. "We believe we need to work together to implement trials that are people-focused and strive to make treatments that are impactful and accessible."
Athira is derived from the Arabic word, Athir that has several significant meanings. Loosely translated, it means "a force" or "an energy" or "something that is part of everything."
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Athira is currently advancing its lead therapeutic candidate, NDX-1017, a novel small molecule therapy designed to slow, halt or reverse the effects of Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases rather than only alleviating disease symptoms. Preclinical studies of NDX-1017 have demonstrated the ability of the compound to promote neuro-regeneration and improve cognitive function. NDX-1017 is currently being evaluated in Phase 1 clinical trials in individuals with Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or mild cognitive impairment in the United States and France. A Phase 2 proof-of-concept study is planned to start in 2019 to evaluate the effects of NDX-1017 for long-term safety and exploratory endpoints.
Athira received funding support for its Phase 1 trials from the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation. The company's Phase 2 trials will be supported in part by the Alzheimer's Association through its PART THE CLOUD to RESCUE Program. Athira will be presenting preliminary results from its Phase 1 trial at a scientific conference in the summer of 2019.