According to Lento Bio, its collaboration with FSU will focus on medicinal chemistry and will help accelerate lead asset development, with board expansion focused on well-rounded scientific expertise.
Florida State University is joining forces for a scientific partnership with Lento Bio, a pharmaceutical company developing medications for presbyopia as the company looks to develop its novel pipeline focused on presbyopia and other diseases.
According to a news release from the company, the primary treatment options for presbyopia are glasses, contact lenses, and surgery. The company said it is developing novel small molecule drugs that will target the underlying damage and thus have the potential to provide a more effective and less invasive treatment option for presbyopia.
The research collaboration with Florida State University (FSU) is focused on medicinal chemistry and rational asset development.
The company noted that the lab of James Frederich, PhD, at FSU will help it develop novel variants of its current lead compounds in order to bring the company to the point of having an optimized eyedrop for reducing lens stiffness and treating presbyopia. They will also help synthesize de novo compounds to potentially further expand Lento Bio's pipeline.
According to the release, Frederich heads an NIH-funded research laboratory at FSU that focuses on developing new strategies and tactics to build complex natural products. His laboratory is specifically interested in biologically active structures that modulate protein-protein interactions in vivo.
Frederich received his PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from UC Irvine under the supervision of Larry Overman, PhD. He started his independent career at Florida State in 2014. To date, his laboratory has raised more than $3 million in federal funding to tackle challenging fundamental problems at the interface of chemistry, biology, and medicine.
“AGE-related diseases remain an underexplored problem at the frontier of chemistry, biology, and medicine. My research team at Florida State University brings a unique chemical perspective to this translational partnership with Lento Bio” Frederich said in the news release. “Working together, we look forward to designing novel organic small molecules to reverse the effects of AGE crosslinking implicated in the pathobiology of several metabolic disorders.”
Kris Barnes, CEO of Lento Bio, said the company was pleased to be working with Frederich and his team at FSU.
“Their expertise in medicinal chemistry will be invaluable as we continue to develop our small molecule drugs for presbyopia and other aging indications,” Barnes said in the news release.
Frederich will also be joining Lento Bio’s scientific advisory board as the company announced additions to its Scientific Advisory Board .
The additional members of the scientific advisory board are Mark Breazzano, MD, a practicing ophthalmologist and professor at Upstate Medical University; Igor Bussel, MD, a practicing ophthalmologist and professor at UC Irvine; and Kenneth Scott, an angel investor and serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in aging disease medicine.
“As a company with a multi-faceted strategy to advance treatments for age-associated disease, our advisory board was strategically chosen from a list of experts in multiple fields to ensure that we are well prepared for the exciting road ahead” Barnes added in the news release.