ReNetX Bio, a company developing first-in-class therapeutics to treat injury to the central nervous system, today announced its launch as a new company with the appointment of Erika Smith as Chief Executive Officer. The company also announced the initiation of a Series A financing round to fund its first clinical trial of its lead therapeutic candidate, Nogo Trap, in patients with chronic spinal cord injury.
ReNetX licensed the rights of the innovative neuro-restorative Nogo Receptor platform technology discovered by Stephen Strittmatter, M.D., Ph.D., at Yale University and founder and scientific advisor to ReNetX. The central nervous system contains major extracellular factors that limit regrowth of neurons. The company has developed a decoy receptor, called Nogo Trap, that binds the growth inhibitors allowing the body to grow nerve fibers naturally and directly targeting restoration across all facets of growth: axonal regeneration (long distance), axonal sprouting (medium distance) and synaptic plasticity.
ReNetX, formerly known as Axerion Therapeutics, currently receives development support for the Nogo Trap chronic SCI program from the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. The company is now actively seeking financing for a Series A financing round to provide the capital needed to initiate and complete a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of Nogo Trap in patients with chronic spinal cord injury.
“Spinal cord injury has been a condition so far resistant to treatment by a variety of therapeutic approaches,” said Dr. Strittmatter. “However, based on the research in my laboratory, we believe that we may have an approach that could benefit these patients. Nogo Trap has demonstrated improved neurologic function following central nervous system damage in several animal models. Based on these promising results, we now believe that Nogo Trap should be evaluated in chronic spinal cord injury patients.”
ReNetX appointed Ms. Smith as part of the recapitalization of the company. She has more than 25 years of experience as an investor and entrepreneur in life sciences. Most recently, she was director of the Blavatnik Fund for Innovation at Yale University.
“Spinal cord injury is one of the most significant unmet medical needs with an annual cost of more than $5 billion per year,” said Ms. Smith. “A treatment that could mitigate even only a part of the condition could both improve quality of life of these patients. When the funding is in place, we anticipate swift patient recruitment for our chronic spinal cord injury clinical trial. In the long-term, conditions beyond spinal cord injury including glaucoma and stroke.”