Reata, created by an unusual public-private partnership, is different in that its drugs in development are further along in the Food and Drug Administration's approval process than most start-up firms' compounds, and it possesses platform technologies aimed at discovering news drugs to treat both cancer and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In contrast, most biotechnology startups stake their survival on one discovery or technology. Two of Reata's lead compounds are positioned to enter human testing in 2004.
"This is exciting news for UT Southwestern, but it's more exciting for the city of Dallas and the biotech industry in Dallas-Fort Worth," said Dr. Dennis K. Stone, vice president for technology development at UT Southwestern.
The public-private partnership is the result of a three-year effort by many individuals to assemble top-tier technologies into a company that is both broad and focused broad in the sense that there are seven sets of technologies, each of which could be an entity unto itself; focused in that the technologies can be advanced through a single management platform, Dr. Stone said.
Discoveries from UT Southwestern, as well as partnerships with UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and several Asian companies, are at the heart of the company's technologies.
"Reata is the result of a lot of work by individuals committed to developing world-class therapeutics in Texas," Warren Huff, chief executive officer, said. "In Reata, we have combined clinical candidates, drug discovery platforms and the support of renowned scientists from leading Texas research institutions
Contact: Steve OBrien
UT Southwestern Medical Center