A new approach in Alzheimer's Research
About Us

About Us

Jump to:

Diane Van Alstyne, Ph.D. - CEO and founder

Diane Van Alstyne, Ph.D., is the founder and CEO of Septa Therapeutics, Inc. and received her doctorate in Molecular Biology at UCSD La Jolla. She was a post-doctoral fellow in virology/biochemistry at McGill University, and then joined UBC Vancouver, as an Assistant Professor in Medicine/Neurology, where she published extensively on the topic: chronic rubella virus (RV) infection in the central nervous system.

While at UBC, Dr. Van Alstyne:

  • identified 2 mechanisms of persistent RV infection

  • identified a mechanism of restricted viral replication in cells in the CNS which accounts for the protracted gap between infection and the onset of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) symptoms where a viral etiology is suspected. This work contributed directly to Dr. DS Paty’s (UBC) future involvement in clinical trials of beta interferon, the first drug developed for use in MS, and

  • proposed a new theory for the origin of the prion, the agent responsible for “mad cow disease” (BSE) and Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (CJD) in humans.

After going to Neuroimmunology at the NIH as an invited Visiting Scientist, where she constructed the first monoclonal antibodies to RV, she returned to Vancouver and founded Insight Biotek Inc. (IBI). It was Dr. Van Alstyne’s highly unorthodox use of a monoclonal antibody directed against RV to detect a common, cross-reacting septapeptide in both meningitis-causing bacteria and viruses that led to the discovery of IBI’s platform technology. As CEO of IBI she has used this technology to develop a new diagnostic test for bacterial meningitis and patented technology for a new “universal” (one-shot-does-all) vaccine against bacterial meningitis.

Dr. Van Alstyne has recently used the previous platform technology to identify the “trigger” that initiates the events which lead ultimately to AD symptoms. As the founder and CEO of Septa Therapeutics Inc., she is devoting her time exclusively to the development of a new therapeutic for the effective treatment of AD.

With such a positive track record in producing results, Dr. Van Alstyne’s current work in AD holds great promise in delivering a new drug for its treatment.

Michigan State University “in Vivo” Facility - our contract research partner

The MSU In Vivo Facility is a contract research organization for assay and drug development, serving industry and academic clients, while housed in the university setting. All projects are overseen by Dr. Richard Neubig, M.D., Ph.D., Chair, Pharmacology and Toxicology. The project will be managed by their director, Dr. Thomas Dexheimer. We will begin by working with Dr. Keith Lookingland, Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, to grow rat brain glial stem cells in culture, to serve as our indicators to test amyloid beta-derived peptides for “trigger” activity. Sigma-Aldrich will provide the custom-synthesized peptides as well as antisera for astrocyte identification to confirm our results.

Karl Bozicevic - patent attorney

Bozicevic, Field, and Francis LLP, specializes in Intellectual Property in the fields of Biotechnology, Immunology, Vaccines, and pharmaceutical formulations, and is based in Silicon Vally, California. They represent major universities, research institutions and biotech companies. This firm is versed in meningitis technologies and is, therefore, well-positioned to handle our Intellectual Property relating to AD which has been derived from previous meningitis work.

Karl Bozicevic has developed patent portfolios of Nobel Prize-winning inventions, including transgenic animal and prion assay methodologies. He will oversee all of our patent filings for the Alzheimer’s Disease project.

Christopher M. Lennon - corporate counsel

Christopher Lennon of Richard, Buell, Sutton LLP, Vancouver, BC, is now representing Septa Therapeutics. In addition to his many other activities, he is also corporate counsel to the University of British Columbia, handling all tech transfers to industry. Chris will be happy to discuss Septa Therapeutics’ share structure and opportunities with interested parties. (604-682-3664, direct line, and clennon@rbs.ca).