HPT/Axis, Inc. Awarded “Most Promising Life Science Technology Company” at 2010 Rice Alliance Life Science Venture Forum

This company is seeking to get approval of a drug protocol that will speed up the normalization of the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Gonadal  (HPG) Axis after long term use of anabolic steroids or testosterone for medical or non medical uses.  Cessation of anabolics or testosterone replacement causes androgen -induced hypogonadism that can negatively impact someone’s health if the HPG axis does not stabilize soon after these compounds are stopped.  Depression, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, lack of motivation, and other health related problems can occur.
 June 24, 2010 — 
HOUSTON – HPT/Axis, Inc. was named one of the most promising Life Science companies at the 9th Annual Rice Alliance for Technology &Entrepreneurship Life Science Venture Forum in Houston last week. Life Science companies showcased their new ventures for an audience of more than 400 attendees, including investors, venture capitalists, industry representatives, business leaders, advisors/mentors, service providers, and entrepreneurs. 

Cynthia A. Doerr, M.D., partner, Essex Woodlands Health Ventures said of the presenters, “This is one of the most mature groups of healthcare-related company presentations that I have reviewed in Houston, and I intend to follow their progress closely.” 

HPT/Axis, Inc., a Delaware C Corporation, seeks to profit from developing a treatment for the adverse effects that occur from the condition androgen-induced hypogonadism (AIH), a condition that occurs 100% of the time after stopping androgen or anabolic steroid use, both prescription and nonprescription, the only variables being the duration and severity. The effects of AIH include decreased sex drive,impotence, infertility, depression, obesity, decreased muscle strength and mass, cognitive impairment, and more. 

The Federal and State government have taken special notice for the period after androgen cessation. In 2005, the U.S. House of Representatives held a committee hearing, “Restoring Faith in America’s Pastime: Evaluating Major League Baseball’s Efforts to Eradicate Steroid Use,” that took special notice of the adverse effects after stopping anabolic steroids, particularly depression and suicide. The Committee received testimony from several parents whose sons had committed suicide after stopping androgen use. Testimony from Kirk J. Brower, M.D., University of Michigan, stated, “[d]epressive episodes and suicide attempts are most likely to occur within three months of stopping [androgen] use.” In that same year, Texas HB 3563, “Use Of Anabolic Steroids By Public School Students”, was passed and signed into law. Of particular importance is the bill’s analysis citing the problem of “clinical depression when steroid use is stopped.” 

HPT/Axis’ drug candidate will be first-in-class, the standard of care treatment. Our treatments have intellectual property protection by pending novel method-of-use patents. HPT/Axis’ lead drug candidate, enclomiphene, is a repositioning of the current FDA approved generic drug clomiphene. Repositioning allows for an expedited path to FDA approval. The company recently completed a successful FDA pre-IND meeting, which gave a preliminary approval for the initiation of clinical trials. 

Michael Scally (mscally@hptaxis.com), HPT/Axis’ President & CEO, stated, “Combining the number of men who stop using anabolic steroids, both prescription and nonprescription, there is a substantial current market for this indication, increasing by double-digits annually. We believe HPT/Axis is on a timeline for a FDA NDA within three to five years.” 

The one-day event culminated in an announcement of the Most Promising Life Science Companies chosen from nearly 40 competitors and judged by the Rice Alliance Information Technology Advisory Board, based on the companies’ elevator pitch presentations. The exercise simulates meeting an investor on an elevator and having only 90 seconds to convince them to invest in your company. 

Rice Alliance Director Brad Burke, announced the winners of the Most Promising Life Science Company awards at the event. “Every year the quality of companies improves. Many of the companies at this year’s event have developed prototypes, obtained proven results and are on their second round of funding. This makes them more appealing to investors, who have also expressed appreciation for the quality of the companies.” 

The Forum was supported by Baker Botts, LLP, Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, Winstead Attorneys and Santé Venture with supporting sponsors Greater Houston Partnership and Houston Technology Center and media sponsors Houston Business Journal and the BusinessMakers Radio Show. Elevator pitches from the competition can be seen at www.alliance.rice.edu beginning July 6, 2010

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