The Manzanita tree is part of the California chaparral, a genre of native plants that survives brushfires and thrives in difficult environments. Manzanita is the Spanish word for “small apple.”

Manzanita Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was founded in May 2007 with the acquisition of intellectual property assets of Asilomar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Asilomar filed for bankruptcy in June 2006. The company was founded on an idea supported by DARPA.

Manzanita owns three issued patents:

The company has not licensed in any technology. Manzanita is actively pursuing additional US, Canadian and European patent claims involving antiviral, analgesic and fluorescent probe conjugates.

Looking ahead to the sourcing and manufacture of the modified glucocorticoid, fluocinolone acetonide is a currently marketed product. Several companies including Genentech held patents in the 1980s and 1990s involving the production of recombinant human NGF, but these have expired. No company held patents on the sequence of rhNGF itself.

Manzanita is currently owned by nine private investors, seven of whom were early investors, management and/or scientists with Asilomar. McKee and Webb were co-Principal Investigators for the founding DARPA grant. Together with current advisors Craig Hill, Bob Campenot, Bob Dalziel, and Steve Kahl, the key prior technical team remains committed to the success of Manzanita.

The company is headquartered in northern California (McKee), with team in San Diego (Webb), Edmonton (Campenot), Edinburgh (Dalziel) and Bethesda (Hill).