NEW HAVEN, Conn., Feb. 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sven Jacobson will be the first to admit that developing a new therapeutic for spinal cord injury is a challenging road. But the latest member of the ReNetX Advisory Board sees the promise of their first-in-class therapeutic in development to treat chronic spinal cord injury, and has the experience to help guide the clinical studies needed to move that drug forward.
“Sven has deep experience in developing treatments for central nervous system injuries, including spinal cord injury,” says ReNetX CEO Erika Smith. “He can provide real insight into designing clinical trials that provide investors with the data they need.”
Jacobson is the co-founder and CEO of Remedy Pharmaceuticals, a clinical stage pharmaceutical company that repurposes drugs to treat acute life-threatening diseases of the central nervous system. Jacobson has led Remedy through multiple financing rounds, three Phase 2 clinical studies, and in May 2017, the sale of the company’s lead product CIRARA (now BIIB093) to Biogen .
“There’s a huge unmet need and an opportunity to change the world for these patients,” he says. “But first, you have to get investors over the risk hump. We were able to do that at Remedy. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to design innovative studies to rapidly show proof of concept in humans.” CIRARA was sold to Biogen for an up-front of $120 million plus milestones and royalties.
Jacobson is impressed by the early-stage results he’s seen at ReNetX which show significant regrowth of neurons following injury by introducing a decoy receptor called the Nogo Trap in both primate and rodent models. Nogo Trap blocks proteins in the body called Nogo-A, MAG and OMgp that inhibit the growth of nerve fibers.
In many ways, he says, ReNetX is in uncharted territory. There has been no successful treatment developed to date for the estimated 285,000 people currently living with chronic spinal cord injury in the US. “You have to be a pioneer and blaze your own trail,” Jacobson says, “and I think ReNetX is poised to do that.”
About ReNetX Bio
ReNetX Bio is developing first-in-class therapeutics to treat injury and damage to the central nervous system (CNS). The company was founded based on innovative technology from Dr. Stephen Strittmatter's work at Yale University to improve neurologic function after CNS injury – creating a significant and completely unmet need estimated at >$5B annually. The technology allows neurons to regrow by eliminating factors that inhibit growth and the technology platform has the potential to help restore function in patients who are suffering from conditions such as paralysis from spinal cord injuries and loss of vision with glaucoma.