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Neurexis Therapeutics was formed in early 2020 to develop new medication for the prevention of brain damage following ischemic events such as stroke and cardiac arrest. Licensed from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, this drug has the potential to significantly improve clinical outcomes for these patients, reduce total healthcare costs, and address a multibillion dollar market opportunity.
The Problem: Cerebral ischemia is the loss of blood flow to the brain and can be caused by stroke, cardiac arrest, sickle cell anemia, congenital heart defects, high-risk vascular surgery, coronary disease, and other issues. The absence of circulation results in extensive nerve cell death, as well as in impaired function of the surviving nerve cells. Strokes alone cost the United States an estimated $34B each year and greatly reduce the quality of life for many patients.
The Solution: Professor Ulli Bayer at the University of Colorado has spent the last decade searching for a solution to this critical healthcare problem. As a result of these efforts, he and his team have developed an optimized drug, tatCN19o, which dramatically reduces both the loss of neurons and behavioral impacts caused by lack of blood flow to the brain. Proof-of-concept efficacy and safety studies in both small and large animal models have been completed. IND-enabling preclinical development has been initiated with Phase 1 human clinical trials expected to begin in 2022.
Market Opportunity: An FDA-approved neuroprotective peptide therapeutic administered within 12 hours following restoration of circulation will have a tremendous impact on global healthcare. Assuming an average price of $5k per dose based on the closest comparable (Genentech’s clot-busting Tissue Plasminogen Activator or tPA) and utility in stroke, cardiac arrest, and other applications, the sales potential easily exceeds the billion-dollar per year threshold for blockbuster status.