J. Kent Werner, MD

Read about J. Kent Werner, MD

Neurodegenerative disease:
Alzheimer’s disease currently affects nearly 50 million people around the world, a number that is expected to triple by the year 2050 in our aging population. Diseases such as Alzheimer’s, FTD, ALS, PSP, DLB and Parkinson’s are caused by a process called neurodegeneration. Neurodegenerative diseases shatter the lives of patients and loved ones. The cost of care for these individuals is nearly $1 trillion each year.

There are currently no effective treatments for these diseases.

The Team:
Dr. Kent Werner is a neurologist and neuroscientist from Johns Hopkins University who founded Cogentis Therapeutics. Cogentis is an award-winning start-up that is working closely with the the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Johns Hopkins University to develop an exciting new approach that is unlike any previous approach.  Dr. Werner and his team won the NIH Neuro Startup Challenge for assembling a world-class advisory panel of experts and developing a plan to rapidly develop a promising new therapy.  Cogentis has been recognized in a number of other start-up accelerators and competitions, and it was named a winner by one of the largest start-up accelerator in the world – MassChallenge.  His panel of advisors includes seasoned experts from the most prominent academic institutions in the country as well as veterans from the pharmaceutical industry.

The Plan:
Neurodegenerative conditions are caused by the progressive death of brain cells.  This death is associated with the toxic buildup of proteins called amyloid or tau (such as in Alzheimer’s), or synuclein (such as in DLB and Parkinson’s).  Previous attempts to stop Alzheimer’s disease have targeted the toxic proteins by attempting to remove them.  Cogentis’ new approach attacks the disease process earlier in the chain of events, preventing their production. Their lead therapy has successfully reversed Alzheimer’s disease in mice as well as in animal models of Parkinson’s disease. The next step is to test their therapies in human cells donated by patients and healthy volunteers. This will allow Cogentis to refine the the treatment before testing it in actual patients.

What you can do to help:
By donating to Cogentis, you are directly contributing to an exciting new advance towards a world without neurodegenerative diseases such as frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.

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