New Orleans Startup Secures Grants to Speed Alzheimer’s, ALS Treatment Search

New Orleans-based biotech startup AxoSim has received two national grants to accelerate their efforts to improve the development of treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and Alzheimer’s.

The first grant comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) for $225,000 to conduct the research and development work for drug treatments. The second $230,000 grant from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) will help ready the technology for experiments on the International Space Station.

A spinout of Tulane University, AxoSim has developed a new research model that looks and acts like a real nerve, serving as an alternative to costly animal testing and ineffective petri dish models. This patent-pending Nerve-On-A-Chip technology allows pharmaceutical companies to have access to high content data faster and earlier than currently possible.

“The grants from the NSF and CASIS provide critical capital and resources to demonstrate the incredible potential of our technology as models for neurological diseases,” said AxoSim’s CEO, Lowry Curley. “Our groundbreaking platform will be an innovative tool for pharmaceutical companies in developing the next generation of cures for neurodegenerative diseases such as MS.”

With the recent grant funding, AxoSim is hiring two new employees to work on these research products. Additionally, the startup is now eligible for a Phase II SBIR/STTR grant because it has already been awarded the Phase I SBIR/STTR grant.