NEW HAVEN, Conn., April 10, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Thanks to the promise of its NoGo Trap therapeutic for treating chronic spinal cord injury (SCI), New Haven-based startup ReNetX Bio has been invited to present as part of a “Clinical Trials 360” symposium at the upcoming American Spinal Cord Injury Association (ASIA) meeting.  The NoGo Trap blocks inhibitors in the central nervous system thereby allowing the body to repair itself by re-growing nerve fiber connections.  The company was invited “based on the promise and uniqueness of our treatment for spinal cord injury,” says ReNetX President and CSO George Maynard.   Unlike many other treatments attempting to address acute injury, the NoGo Trap trial will focus on chronic patients who have an injury beyond one year.  The breakthrough technology developed in Dr. Stephen Strittmatter’s laboratory at Yale has an entirely new approach that has shown successful restoration of neurons in animal studies many months after spinal cord injury.

The purpose of the “Clinical Trials 360” symposium is to share developments in the pipeline for restorative interventions in SCI with attendees—to reach thought leaders and drive interest among researchers. The ASIA meeting will be held in Rochester, Minnesota, May 2-4. “The symposium will highlight interventional treatments at various stages of injury,” says ReNetX CEO Erika R. Smith. “We’re honored to be among the presenters and to share our discovery of a new approach for treating chronic SCI by targeting the Nogo receptor.”

ReNetX will be submitting an IND (Investigational New Drug) to the Food and Drug Administration and will then move forward to a clinical trial for its lead candidate by the end of 2018. There are approximately 300,000 in the U.S. suffering from chronic SCI. “Those with chronic spinal cord injuries live with severe impairment,” says Maynard. “Any improvement in their ability to function would be a fantastic step forward.”

Maynard, who will speak at the symposium, has more than 27 years of pharmaceutical and research experience. A chemist by training, he spent the first half of his career developing small molecules for Hoescht (now part of Sanofi) and then as Vice President of Early Development at Neurogen Corporation where he led pre-clinical development for emerging therapeutics.

He says that joining ReNetX offered an opportunity to get involved in launching a therapeutic that “wasn’t just an incremental improvement on existing drugs, but had the potential to be groundbreaking.” If their approach of targeting inhibitory factors is successful, Maynard says, “it will open the floodgates to other approaches being aggressively funded to impact therapies for other disease or injury to the central nervous system.”

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