How Patrick Tresserras Sniffs Out Academic Assets With Potential


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Patrick Tresserras, former CEO and cofounder of Avizorex Pharma and self-proclaimed biopharma entrepreneur, digs into his knack for identifying promising academic assets that have the potential to address unmet medical needs.

In this OIS Podcast with host Robert Rothman, MD, Patrick talks about Avizorex, his first startup founded in 2013. It was based on a technology originated from research conducted by Prof. Carlos Belmonte Martinez at the Institute of Neurosciences in Alicante, Spain. The science involved temperature-sensitive neurons in tear film regulation.

Patrick convinced Prof. Belmonte to partner with him and then went on to secure financing and assemble a team to transform Avizorex’s lead candidate, AVX-012, from an early-stage preclinical asset into a novel dry eye disease product candidate. AVX-012 is an eye drop formulation of a selective agonist of the protein TRPM8—for transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily M (melastatin) member 8, which plays a key role in dry eye disease.

Following positive Phase II data, Patrick successfully structured an acquisition deal with Aerie Pharmaceuticals, just before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Patrick also talks about his next venture, another ophthalmic startup, Innerva Pharmaceuticals, that’s developing INE-01 to treat ocular surface pain. INE-01 is an antagonist of the PIEZO 2 protein. It’s being developed under license from the University of Tennessee Research Foundation.

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