Bringing high-impact drugs to market

A doctor-turned-entrepreneur looks to the Navigator to find the research support he needs to develop new drugs for patients with neurological diseases

Olivia Carey,

Toronto-based company Neuractas Therapeutics uses the Navigator to find the pharmaceutical manufacturing expertise needed to develop high-impact therapeutics

Andrew Lingard was in his last year of medical school when an experience with a patient inspired a new direction in his career.

He was treating a man with liver failure who had developed what is known as “hepatic encephalopathy (HE),” which is a cognitive impairment that occurs when the liver can no longer filter ammonia from the blood.

About a week into his hospitalization, the patient slipped into a coma. Once patients suffering from HE enter into a coma, Lingard says, there is a 75 percent chance they will die in hospital.

“That’s when I really started digging,” he says. And that’s what motivated Lingard to found Neuractas Therapeutics in 2019. The Toronto-based company develops drugs for patients suffering from neurological diseases or conditions that have few existing treatment options.

Lingard is currently working on bringing the company’s first drug to market to help patients suffering from HE, like the one he encountered in medical school. Neuractas also works on other drugs for rare and hard-to-treat disorders of the nervous system, including Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and cancers of neuroendocrine cells.

To help him bring these projects to fruition, Lingard uses the Navigator to look for Canadian labs and expertise that could help in his company’s drug development and analysis.

The Navigator is a great tool for finding the services different labs across Canada have to offer, the specific equipment they have and information that may be difficult to find on institutions’ websites,” Lingard says.

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