Dr. Paul Tesar Launches New Company Aimed at Treating Neurological Disease
A new company called Convelo Therapeutics based on the work of Case Western Reserve University’s Paul Tesar, DPhil, and Drew Adams, PhD, announced its launch on July 25. Dr. Tesar is a NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Alumnus and recipient of the 2017 NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Prize.
Convelo is dedicated to developing treatments for disorders that result in a loss of myelin—the substance that coats our nerve fibers and helps them send signals. Myelin is produced by cells called oligodendrocytes, and when it is damaged in diseases like multiple sclerosis, cells cannot communicate with each other as efficiently. This can lead to symptoms such as numbness, loss of reflexes, uncoordinated movement, and pain.
The company builds off of the researchers’ discoveries in this field, with their most recent study in Nature Methods outlining a new technique for generating miniature brain organoids containing oligodendrocytes capable of myelination. Incorporating oligodendrocytes capable of myelination into organoid models offers a new way for researchers to study how this process goes awry in disease – and to test ways to repair it. This study was conducted in collaboration with a team at the NYSCF Research Institute led by Dr. Valentina Fossati, PhD.
Convelo’s CEO is Derrick Rossi, PhD, a NYSCF – Robertson Investigator Alumnus who previously served on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University.
Dr. Tesar and Dr. Rossi met at NYSCF’s annual Innovator retreat, which brings scientists from around the world together to share their work and get feedback from their peers. They maintained a partnership that eventually led to the development of Convelo and credit the NYSCF – Robertson program for sparking their collaboration.