NervGen (TSX-V: NGEN, OTCQX: NGENF) is a clinical stage biotech company dedicated to developing innovative treatments that enable the nervous system to repair itself following damage, whether due to injury or disease.
In March 2016, Codi, the daughter-in-law of Dr. Harold Punnett, one of NervGen’s co-founders, fell and became a complete T-11 paraplegic. She has no sensation or function below the level of her belly button and the devastating injury changed the lives of Codi, and the rest of the family. In response to this terrible injury, Dr. Punnett began a personal quest to learn about spinal cord injury. Through his research he discovered a revolutionary nerve regeneration technology of deep biological logic in Dr. Jerry Silver’s work at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). Dr. Silver and Dr. Punnett began a conversation that resulted in the formation of NervGen Pharma Corp. in 2018. Dr. Punnett’s hope is that the work performed by NervGen will be able to help Codi and others suffering from paralysis; he is also very excited that the technology may also lead to novel new treatments for other serious neurological conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases.
Key Facts About NervGen
- A scar forms when there is damage to the nervous system. Scar formation can be in response to acute damage, such as spinal cord injury (SCI), or in chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and multiple sclerosis (MS).
- Scars contain molecules called chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs). CSPGs bind to a cellular receptor called protein tyrosine phosphatase sigma (PTPσ).
- This interaction of CSPGs and PTPσ initially helps to contain damage, but in the long term it interferes with repair of the nervous system.
- NervGen’s lead product, NVG-291, relieves the inhibitory effects of CSPGs and thus enables repair of the nervous system.
- NVG-291 is a first-in-class experimental drug administered by injection under the skin.
- In animal studies, NVG-291 promoted nervous system repair and enhanced recovery of functions such as walking, bladder control, vision, and memory.
- NVG-291 is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial in healthy volunteers to evaluate safety, tolerability, and metabolism.
- After completing our Phase 1 clinical trial, the company plans to study the effectiveness and safety of NVG-291 initially in people with spinal cord injury, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis.