Jake VanLandingham, Ph.D., a 45-year-old neuroscientist, has spent nearly a decade trying to develop a drug that he believes can heal concussions. “We’re virtual,” he likes to say of his eight-employee company, Prevacus, a UF Innovate | Sid Martin Biotech alum. In 2018, he says, he sold his family home to keep his startup alive. He’d already raised and spent millions on the toxicology tests, patent applications, attorney fees, and company overhead required to take his drug into Phase 1 human clinical trials, a vital stage on the arduous journey toward FDA approval.
The last chunk of a promised grant would be coming through at any moment, he said. With that money, he could at last launch Phase 1 safety trials, at a research clinic in Adelaide, Australia. If that were to happen, his would be the first new drug specifically targeting concussions ever to be tested in humans.Learn more about Inside the Race to Solve America’s Concussion Crisis.