A new approach in Alzheimer's Research
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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, Diane:

  • 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 Don 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 Diane'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.

Diane 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, Diane's current work in AD holds great promise in delivering a new drug for its treatment.

Research Partner

To be announced.

James J. Mullen III, Ph.D. - patent attorney at Morrison & Foerster

Morrison & Foerster LLP specializes in intellectual property in the fields of biotechnology, immunology, vaccines and pharmaceutical formulations and is based in San Diego, California.

Christopher M. Lennon - corporate counsel

Christopher Lennon, of LennonAllen 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.