Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals Awarded Major Grant to Further Develop Promising Treatment for Brain Injury

Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals, Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium, BrightFocus Foundation

Groton, CT, September 8, 2021 – Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals Inc., a drug discovery and development company advancing novel neuroprotective therapeutics for the treatment of brain injuries, announced today that it has received a $500,000 award jointly funded by the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) and the BrightFocus Foundation.

Astrocyte is developing AST-004, a potential therapy for traumatic brain injury that demonstrates promising signs of efficacy and safety across a broad range of preclinical models. The company is currently completing the required preclinical studies and activities for AST-004 in preparation for starting human Phase 1 safety studies.  The purpose of the new award program is to enable the advancement of candidate drugs into human clinical trials for the treatment of repeated mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI).

In cooperation with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) and other Government agencies in the biomedical sciences, MTEC facilitates prototype advancement of technologies (such as drugs, biologics, vaccines, medical software and medical devices) that protect, treat, and optimize the health and performance of U.S. military personnel.

“There is a critical need for new neuroprotective therapeutics. Military mTBI is typically caused from either concussive events or exposure to explosive blast injury, and results in physical changes to the brain.  The DoD and the military services require solutions to treat TBI as close to point of injury as possible, to reduce primary and secondary brain damage. Therefore, it is important to develop a drug therapy for the treatment of repeated mTBI that will decrease lost military duty time of those in active service and support the long-term healthy aging of veterans,” stated Lauren Palestrini, PhD, Director of Research at MTEC.

“AST-004 has the potential to address this growing health crisis, and we are proud that this award can help advance the regulatory filings and an additional oral formulation of AST-004, to enable the key future clinical studies,” she added.

“Research shows there is a strong overlap between repetitive mTBI and Alzheimer’s disease, with those who experience brain injury more likely to get dementia later in their lives.  Astrocyte is showing exciting progress in developing a new therapeutic that may better treat those who sustain a brain injury both now and when they are older.  BrightFocus is honored to be a part of such innovative science,” said Diane Bovenkamp, PhD, the foundation’s Vice President for Scientific Affairs.

“MTEC and BrightFocus have devoted significant resources and efforts to finding novel treatments for the millions of people suffering from brain injuries,” commented Dr. William Korinek, CEO at Astrocyte.  “It is an honor to work with this esteemed and dedicated group of experts to address these distressingly common medical conditions.”

For more information about Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals please contact Dr. William Korinek at 617-444-8765 or [email protected].


About Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a privately held drug discovery and development company dedicated to accelerating the recovery and well-being of brain injury patients. The company is committed to proving the neuroprotective benefits of enhancing astrocyte function, and advancing breakthrough therapeutic agents for treating brain injury resulting from stroke, TBI, concussion, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

About MTEC

The Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) is a 501(c)(3) biomedical technology consortium collaborating under an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) that serves those who serve our nation. To find out more about MTEC, visit

About BrightFocus Foundation

BrightFocus Foundation is a premier source of private research funding to defeat Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. The organization has supported over 275 projects, a $60 million investment, over the past three years alone to find the cures for diseases of mind and sight. It shares the latest research findings and best practices to empower families impacted by these diseases.  Please visit for more information.

Research support referred to in this press release was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Institute On Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under Award Numbers R41NS093756, R44NS093756, and R41AG062163, and also by the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs under Award Number W81XWH-15-1-0283.   The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command.

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