Berwyn firm taking aim at Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s

Maria Maccecchini

Berwyn firm taking aim at Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s

Elevator Pitch – November 1, 2013

QR Pharma is a specialty pharmaceutical company that is developing novel drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases and other neurodegenerative disorders. QR has two compounds in clinical development: Posiphen, which targets early-stage Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and may stop or slow the progression of the diseases; and BNC, which targets late-stage Alzheimer’s and may stabilize the decline associated with it.

Revenue model: QR Pharma intends to develop its lead compound to prove its efficacy in Parkinson’s patients and [have an exit plan by partnering] with a pharma company.

Size of market and share it can gain: The market for neurodegenerative disorders is huge — more than 150 million people may be affected by 2050. QR Pharma believes the first company that will bring a disease modifying drug on the market will get the biggest share.”

Competition: Lilly, Pfizer, Merck, Bristol-Myers SquibbGenentech/Roche are competition to develop a drug, but nobody has a compound that, to date, has shown efficacy in humans.

Disruptive technology: Neurodegenerative disorders are unmet needs that are treated with ineffective symptomatic drugs. QR Pharma is developing drugs designed to change the course of neurodegeneration.

Top managers: Maria L. Maccecchini, QR Pharma’s president and CEO, was previously a partner and director of two angel groups; the founder and CEO of Symphony Pharmaceuticals/Annovis, a biotech company that sold in 2001 to Transgenomic; and GM of Bachem Bioscience. She holds a doctorate in biochemistry from The Rockfeller University. Eugene Cooper, QR Pharma’s VP for formulation, was chief tech officer for drug delivery at Elan and also held several research posts. He has more than 50 patents on drug formulation and delivery.

Funding Sought: QR Pharma just started looking for $25 million to conduct a study in early Parkinson’s patients to test whether its drug can slow, stop, or ameliorate the conditions associated with the disease.


Elevator Pitch is a quick snapshot of a Philadelphia-area startup. The Business Journal does not endorse the companies featured, nor is this an invitation to invest.