Nephraegis Therapeutics Launches with Seed Financing to Develop Small Molecules to Prevent and Treat Acute Kidney Injury (AKI)
Collaboration with Xontogeny provides funding and key advisory support for early development
Nephraegis Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing NPH-022 to prevent and treat Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) announced their launch with a seed investment from Xontogeny, LLC to advance their lead compound through critical preclinical work.
“We are excited to announce our collaboration with Nephraegis to address the unmet need for prevention of acute kidney injury,” said Chris Garabedian, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Xontogeny. “The Xontogeny team has enjoyed working with the Nephraegis team, and we are aligned on the key milestones that we plan to achieve with this seed investment.”
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More than 8 million cases of AKI occur each year in the US alone, over 80,000 of which will require dialysis. Nephraegis’ lead compound, NPH‑022, acts via the same pathway as endogenous epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs), which regulate normal kidney function to respond to cellular stress events such as hypoxia or chemotoxicity. NPH-022 has demonstrated an impressive efficacy and safety profile in rodent models of renal injury, supporting its potential as a breakthrough candidate.
“We are thrilled to have Xontogeny as a collaborative partner and appreciate their seed investment to advance our lead product through key preclinical activities and prepare us for IND submission and clinical development,” said Bryan F. Cox, Chief Executive Officer, Nephraegis Therapeutics. “The Nephraegis team is pleased that Xontogeny shares our goal of rapidly advancing our technology with both efficient capital deployment and laser focus on executing a successful development program. This is especially important for our initial target, developing NPH-022 as a potentially promising new treatment to prevent AKI.”
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AKI is an abrupt loss of kidney function. AKI can be caused by lupus, chemotherapy, medical imaging contrast media, septicemia, and is a frequent sequela to many types of surgery including common cardiovascular and abdominal procedures. These surgeries include CABG, heart valve replacement, abdominal surgeries and liver transplant surgery where AKI incidence can exceed 50%. In the United States, annual direct costs of AKI are estimated to be as high as $24 billion – and this does not include the costs of dialysis or transplant for those who are later diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Patients who experience AKI following surgery have a greatly increased risk for hospital re-admission and typically spend more days in intensive care following surgery, increasing risk of infection and greatly increasing costs. Mortality in patients experiencing AKI has been shown in studies to be as high as 50% in some high-risk populations. Current medical response consists solely of supportive care as no drugs are currently approved to treat AKI.
In addition to Bryan F. Cox as Chief Executive Officer, the Nephraegis management team includes Jim Stolzenbach as Chief Development Officer, Richard Marshak as Chief Business Officer and Dave Schodin, Head, Legal Affairs. The Board of Directors will be comprised of Chairman Chris Garabedian, CEO of Xontogeny, Ben Askew, Partner of Research and Development at Xontogeny, Bryan Cox, Richard Marshak, and Jim Stolzenbach.
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