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Companies that emerge from academic institutions enjoy the special advantage of intimate familiarity with a new molecular entity or drug platform but also face the special challenge of contending with bigger and better financed organizations. 

DUBLIN – Prexton Therapeutics SA, an early stage CNS drug developer spun out of the Merck Serono arm of Merck KGaA, raised €8.7 million (US$10 million) to move a metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 (mGluR4) agonist development program into clinical trials in Parkinson's disease.

Riding high on new interim data suggesting plasma-derived alpha-1 antitrypsin might help patients with graft-vs.-host disease recover when steroids fail, Omni Bio Pharmaceutical Inc. is angling to produce an irresistible proof-of-concept package showing its preclinical recombinant AAT could do the same and more.

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