Asha Therapeutics (Asha), (www.ashatherapeutics.com), a biopharmaceutical company revolutionizing the traditional multi-year drug discovery process through the rapid design of new medicines for patients suffering from devastating illnesses, announced today that it has been selected as a BLUE KNIGHT™ company.
BLUE KNIGHT™ is a joint initiative between Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, dedicated to the acceleration of transformative technology and science that will enable a swift and targeted response to evolving threats to public health and safety.
As a BLUE KNIGHT™ company, Asha joins the robust Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS and BARDA ecosystems. Asha's selection recognizes the demonstrated potential of the company's proprietary PRISM™ molecular design technology platform and innovative science to transform traditional drug development. In contrast to current AI-driven systems of drug discovery that screen millions of existing compounds, the PRISMTM Platform builds custom de novo compounds for specific disease targets. PRISMTM can produce clinic-ready drugs within months, compared with traditional drug discovery that takes years due to time intensive screening and chemical optimization.
"The selection of Asha Therapeutics as a BLUE KNIGHT™ awardee highlights the power of its proprietary PRISM™ platform to dramatically accelerate drug development for previously intractable targets, largely considered undruggable. PRISM™'s demonstrated ability to successfully drug almost any target of interest is what has impressed me the most. Asha has proven ability to build a portfolio of assets with disease indications including ALS, Parkinson's Disease, ME/CFS and Long Covid, and Colorectal Cancer in a matter of months, demonstrating compelling efficacy and safety in animal models. I am thrilled with this recognition and look forward to patients benefiting from Asha's portfolio of assets in the very near future" commented Dr. Craig Blackstone M.D., Ph.D., a member of Asha's Board of Directors and Chair of Asha Therapeutics' Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Blackstone serves as Vice Chair for Research, and Chief, Movement Disorders Division in the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston as well as Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School.
"Asha is honored to be selected as a BLUE KNIGHTTM company. Our mission is to develop curative medicines for diseases with high unmet medical need, enabling greater health equity and access and improvements in global health. Asha is at the forefront of a new era of swift and purposeful precision drug design that will replace traditional lengthy and often serendipitous discovery. Asha has successfully used PRISMTM to rapidly design development candidates that have the extraordinary promise of becoming curative therapies that will transform patient outcomes. We are excited to leverage the capabilities of Asha's PRISMTM technology to enable a rapid response to risks to public health and safety in partnership with Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS and BARDA," noted Dr. Bradlee Heckmann, Asha's Scientific Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer.
About Asha Therapeutics: Asha Therapeutics (www.ashatherapeutics.com) is a life sciences company at the forefront of a new era of precision drug design, leveraging the power of its PRISM™ technology to custom design de novo compounds to create curative therapeutics for diseases with high unmet medical need across multiple clinical areas including neurology, oncology, and infectious disease.
Asha's lead therapeutic programs, ASHA-624 and ASHA-091 with indications in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease and ME/CFS and Long Covid respectively, are expected to enter clinical trials by mid-2024 and are disease modifying therapeutics.