Press release
Mar 1, 2022
NRG Therapeutics Completes MND Therapeutic Analysis Project with Medicines Discovery Catapult Supported by an Innovate UK EDGE Grant
  • NRG’s second therapeutic programme to explore brain penetrant small molecule inhibitors of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) as treatment for MND (ALS)
  • Innovate UK EDGE grant enabled support from the Medicines Discovery Catapult
  • Scientific and commercial insights gained will support MND clinical study design and Series A financing

NRG Therapeutics Ltd (“NRG” or “company”), an innovative neuroscience company targeting mitochondrial dysfunction, is pleased to report the successful outcome of its motor neurone disease (MND) analysis project with the Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) enabled through funding by Innovate UK’s EDGE programme.

NRG was awarded a £15,000 grant from Innovate UK’s EDGE in November 2021 to fund a package of work by MDC to refine the target product profile for a disease-modifying treatment for MND and to understand the future market. The EDGE programme is designed to help accelerate business growth and maximize innovation potential of UK businesses.

The project aimed to improve understanding of MND and the unmet medical need; improve knowledge of the evolving landscape and market opportunity for MND; improve knowledge of the regulatory path to secure approval for MND; and deliver a clinical development plan for MND.

The project included an advisory board, with representatives of MDC and NRG, external specialists in toxicology and regulatory affairs, as well as leaders in the MND field including Prof Ammar Al-Chalabi, Professor of Neurology and Complex Disease at The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London and Dr Paul Rees, an experienced MND medicines development consultant.

Jessica Lee, Head of Discovery Syndicates at MDC said, “We are pleased to support the advancement of this early-stage drug discovery programme. By bringing together market research specialists and leading experts in MND and drug discovery, MDC has enabled NRG to develop a stronger understanding of the therapeutic landscape and size of the commercial opportunity in MND, and a roadmap for best practice clinical development.”

Dr Paul Rees, Medicines Development Consultant and visiting Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Pharmaceutical Medicine Research, Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, School of Cancer & Pharmaceutical Sciences at King’s College London said, “MND is a neurodegenerative disease that results in progressive muscle weakness. It is an uncommon condition that affects around 5,000 people in the UK at any one time. Currently, there is no cure for MND, so we urgently need new effective medicines to treat this disease.”

NRG is applying breakthrough science in the field of mitochondrial biology to develop first-in-class treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. Its approach is based on inhibiting the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) in brain cells which has been shown to be neuroprotective in several preclinical models of Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases including MND (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS). It has discovered the first orally bioavailable and CNS penetrant mPTP inhibitors with two of these chemical series in lead optimization.

NRG Therapeutics’ co-founder and CEO Dr Neil Miller said, “We are grateful for the supportive innovation environment and funding in the UK to enable early-stage companies achieve their commercialization potential for the benefit of patients. We are passionate about finding new treatments that offer hope and could change the lives of those with neurological diseases. Whilst there is a disease-modifying treatment licensed for MND, it provides only short-term modest benefit. There is thus a huge unmet medical need for innovative disease modifying treatments.”

The scientific and commercial insights gained during the project have already been integrated into the Company’s future plans and in discussions with prospective Series A investors. NRG is seeking to secure a Series A funding to advance its assets into the clinic, with the aim of completing IND-enabling studies for its lead asset by the end of 2024.

Media enquiries
Sue Charles, Charles Consultants, +44 7968 726585

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