MTEC Awards $3M to Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals for Clinical Study of AST-004

Sep 16, 2021

Groton, CT, September 16, 2021Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals Inc., a drug discovery and development company advancing novel neuroprotective therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative brain injuries, announced today the granting of a $3.0M award from the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC).  The MTEC project award will support the upcoming Phase 1 human safety studies of Astrocyte’s cerebroprotectant AST-004 and the further development of a convenient oral field formulation of the drug.

MTEC works in cooperation with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) and other government agencies in the biomedical sciences, to facilitate prototype advancement of technologies (such as drugs, biologics, vaccines, medical software and medical devices) that protect, treat, and optimize the health and performance of U.S. military personnel.  The $3.0M award supports the USAMRDC Combat Casualty Care Research Program (CCCRP) to advance promising acute therapeutic technologies across the spectrum of traumatic brain injury (TBI) severities capable of being used in a far-forward operational environment.

“TBIs inflict a tremendous health burden in both military and civilian populations.  It is a priority of MTEC, the Department of Defense and the military services to develop TBI treatment interventions to reduce injury severity and improve warfighter care,” commented Lauren Palestrini, PhD, Director of Research at MTEC.  “AST-004 is a promising potential treatment for TBI and this project advances AST-004’s Phase 1 clinical safety studies that are required before a future Phase 2 efficacy study in TBI patients.”

“AST-004 continues to demonstrate remarkable efficacy and safety in preclinical studies.  If we see comparable effects in humans, this will be the major breakthrough that is needed for the treatment of TBI patients,” remarked Theodore Liston, PhD, Astrocyte’s Vice President of Research and Principal Investigator for the project.  “The Astrocyte team looks forward to beginning these human studies in early 2022.”

“A notable advantage of AST-004 is that it has great pharmaceutical properties including oral bioavailability and robust stability,” highlighted Russell Poe, PhD, Head of Chemistry and Manufacturing Controls (CMC) at Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals.  “This enables multiple product formulation options including a small oral tablet that will be utilized in a variety of battlefield, roadside or sideline scenarios to treat patients during that most critical period after injury.”

For more information about Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals please contact Dr. William Korinek at 617-444-8765 or


About Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a privately held drug discovery and development company dedicated to accelerating the recovery and well-being of brain injury patients. The company is committed to proving the neuroprotective benefits of enhancing astrocyte function, and advancing breakthrough therapeutic agents for treating brain injury resulting from stroke, TBI, concussion, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

About MTEC

The Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) is a 501(c)(3) biomedical technology consortium collaborating under an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) that serves those who serve our nation. To find out more about MTEC, visit

About U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command

The U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command is the Army’s medical materiel developer, with responsibility for medical research, development, and acquisition. USAMRDC produces medical solutions for the battlefield with a focus on various areas of biomedical research, including military infectious diseases, combat casualty care, military operational medicine, medical chemical and biological defense. 


The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.



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