NervGen Pharma licenses nerve regeneration technology from Case Western Reserve University

July 30, 2018

NervGen Pharma in Vancouver and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland have entered into an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement to research, develop, and commercialize a patented technology with potential to bring new therapies for spinal cord injury and other conditions associated with nerve damage.

The technology was developed in the laboratory of Dr. Jerry Silver, a leading spinal cord injury and regenerative medicine researcher at Case Western Reserve. Dr. Silver’s research has implicated protein tyrosine phosphatase sigma (PTPs) as a key neural receptor which inhibits nerve regeneration through regions of scarring in spinal cord injury and other medical conditions.

Targeted treatment against PTPs with an agent known as ISP promoted regeneration of damaged nerves and functional improvement in animal models for various medical conditions. A series of receptor antagonists that can be delivered systemically have been identified, including an analogue of ISP that is ready for clinical development.

NervGen plans to advance this ISP analogue into the clinic for the treatment of spinal cord injury while leveraging the technology to identify additional therapeutic candidates for other related medical conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, peripheral nerve injury, and heart attack.

“We are extremely excited to be advancing this important nerve regeneration technology as there is currently no approved therapy known to enhance nerve regrowth in patients suffering from nerve damage,” said Dr. Ernest Wong, CEO of NervGen. “The functional recovery observed in animal models is unprecedented and consistent across multiple preclinical models in several independent university laboratories.”

As a widely acknowledged, world authority on nerve regeneration, particularly in relation to spinal cord injury, Dr. Silver has received numerous recognitions including the Christopher Reeve-Joan Irvine Research Medal and the Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award for significant accomplishments in the area of spinal cord injury.

As NervGen advances its lead candidate through clinical development, it will continue to collaborate with Dr. Silver and his co-inventor, Dr. Brad Lang, an executive-in-residence at BioEnterprise in Cleveland, Ohio, as advisors to advance the technology and science.

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