ReNeuron to receive support from Foundation Fighting Blindness for its retinal stem cell therapy candidate for treatment of retinitis pigmentosa

ReNeuron to receive support from Foundation Fighting Blindness for its retinal stem cell therapy candidate for treatment of retinitis pigmentosa

Guildford, UK, 11 March 2014: ReNeuron Group plc (the “Company”) (AIM: RENE.L), a leading UK-based stem cell therapy company, is pleased to announce that its ReN003 retinal stem cell therapy candidate for retinitis pigmentosa is to receive support from the US-based Foundation Fighting Blindness (“the Foundation”), the world’s leading private source for inherited retinal disease research funding.

The Foundation has already played a key role in advancing ReNeuron’s ReN003 therapy through its funding of earlier pre-clinical work conducted by the Schepens Eye Research Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear (“Schepens”), ReNeuron’s principal US collaborator on the ReN003 programme. The Foundation is planning to provide additional resources to ReNeuron and its collaborators in support of preparations for initial clinical trials with ReN003, including access to its network of expert pre-clinical and clinical advisers. The Foundation is also providing further funding towards late pre-clinical work on the ReN003 programme conducted through Schepens.

ReNeuron is using its proprietary human retinal progenitor cells (hRPCs) as the basis of its ReN003 therapeutic candidate targeting retinitis pigmentosa, a group of hereditary diseases of the eye that lead to progressive loss of sight due to cells in the retina becoming damaged and eventually dying. Pre-clinical studies have demonstrated that, when transplanted into the retina, hRPCs have the potential to rescue existing photoreceptors to help preserve vision, as well as mature into fully functional photoreceptors, allowing for the possibility of restored vision. ReNeuron’s ReN003 therapy benefits from Orphan Drug Designation in both Europe and the US. The Company and its collaborators are currently completing late pre-clinical development of the ReN003 therapy, ahead of an initial clinical trial application planned for later this year.

Dr. Brian Mansfield, the Foundation’s Deputy Chief Research Officer, said:
“ReNeuron is well positioned to advance its stem cell therapy for people with retinitis pigmentosa. We are excited about the prospects this treatment holds for potentially saving and restoring vision in these patients. This progress underscores the Foundation’s unique role in providing early support to advance promising research to the point of industry interest and further investment, while continuing to work with companies like ReNeuron to accelerate the path to the clinic.”

Dr. John Sinden, Chief Scientific Officer of ReNeuron, said:
“We are delighted that the Foundation Fighting Blindness will be supporting the development of our ReN003 therapeutic candidate for retinitis pigmentosa. In particular, the Foundation’s extensive knowledge, experience and network of advisers will be invaluable to us as we look to progress the ReN003 programme into its clinical phase.”

Enquiries:

ReNeuron
Michael Hunt, Chief Executive Officer
Dr John Sinden, Chief Scientific Officer

+44 (0) 1483 302560

Buchanan
Mark Court, Fiona Henson, Sophie Cowles

+44 (0) 20 7466 5000

Cenkos Securities
Stephen Keys, Dr Christopher Golden
(NOMAD and Broker)
Andy Roberts (Sales)

+44 (0) 20 7397 8900

Foundation Fighting Blindness
Allie Gebhardt, Associate Director,
Communications and Marketing

+1 410 423 0643

About Foundation Fighting Blindness
The Foundation Fighting Blindness is a US-based non-profit organisation driving the research that will lead to preventions, treatments and cures for retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases that affect more than 10 million Americans. Since 1971, the Foundation has raised nearly $550 million as the leading non-governmental funder of inherited retinal research. With a coveted four-star rating from Charity Navigator, the Foundation also has nearly 50 chapters that provide support, information and resources to affected individuals and their families in communities across America.

About ReNeuron
ReNeuron is a leading, clinical-stage cell therapy development business. Based in the UK, its primary objective is the development of novel cell-based therapies targeting areas of significant unmet or poorly met medical need.

ReNeuron has used its unique stem cell technologies to develop cell-based therapies for significant disease conditions where the cells can be readily administered “off-the-shelf” to any eligible patient without the need for additional immunosuppressive drug treatments. The Company’s lead therapeutic candidate is its ReN001 stem cell therapy for the treatment of patients left disabled by the effects of a stroke. This treatment is currently in clinical development. The Company is also developing stem cell therapies for other conditions such as critical limb ischaemia, a serious and common side effect of diabetes, and blindness-causing diseases of the retina.

ReNeuron is also advancing a proprietary platform technology to exploit nanoparticles (exosomes) secreted by stem cells as potential new drug candidates targeting indications in tissue repair, fibrosis and cancer.

ReNeuron’s shares are traded on the London AIM market under the symbol RENE.L. Further information on ReNeuron and its products can be found at www.reneuron.com.

 

This announcement contains forward-looking statements with respect to the financial condition, results of operations and business achievements/performance of ReNeuron and certain of the plans and objectives of management of ReNeuron with respect thereto. These statements may generally, but not always, be identified by the use of words such as "should", "expects", "estimates", "believes" or similar expressions. This announcement also contains forward-looking statements attributed to certain third parties relating to their estimates regarding the growth of markets and demand for products. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they reflect ReNeuron's current expectations and assumptions as to future events and circumstances that may not prove accurate. A number of factors could cause ReNeuron's actual financial condition, results of operations and business achievements/performance to differ materially from the estimates made or implied in such forward-looking statements and, accordingly, reliance should not be placed on such statements.

Original Date: 
Tuesday, March 11, 2014