MitoRx Therapeutics Announces Seed Financing to Advance its Mitochondrial-Protective Therapeutics to Treat Degenerative Diseases
Appoints Industry Veteran Glyn Edwards MBE as Chair
Oxford, England, 25 April 2022 - MitoRx Therapeutics (MitoRx), a biotechnology company developing novel therapeutics that reverse mitochondrial dysfunction to arrest the progression of degenerative diseases, announces the close of its seed financing. Financial details are not disclosed.
The company also announces the appointment of Glyn Edwards MBE as Chair, who brings specialist industry experience developing therapeutics for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and progressing these to late-stage clinical trials.
The company’s first-in-class therapeutic pipeline targets mitochondria, the power stations of the cell. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been linked to the progression of rare diseases such as the neuromuscular disorder Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the neurodegenerative disorder Huntington’s disease, and it has also been implicated in common neurodegenerative diseases.
MitoRx’s academic founder, and CSO, Prof Matt Whiteman of the University of Exeter, and collaborators have recently demonstrated the complete reversal of loss-of strength due to mitochondrial dysfunction in a C. elegans model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. They also demonstrated neuroprotection in a mammalian model of Alzheimer’s disease, through the restoration of sulfide-signalling. (1, 2)
Dr. Jon Rees, CEO of MitoRx, said, “I’ve long been fascinated by how reversing mitochondrial dysfunction could arrest the progression of degenerative diseases, which place great burdens on patients and healthcare systems. This seed financing will enable us to advance MitoRx’s first-in-class therapeutic pipeline. We are the first biotech to address dysfunction of sulfide-signalling, a fundamental part of life’s energy systems. I’m also delighted to welcome Glyn to the team whose wealth of experience will be a great asset as we accelerate our novel pipeline of small molecule mitochondrial protective therapeutics towards the clinic.”
Dr Norman Law, Co-founder of MitoRx, said, “I’m excited to have this opportunity to use Prof. Whiteman’s ground-breaking research on mitochondria to develop novel medicines for indications where there is a long-standing clinical need. Notably we already have data for our compounds in additional therapeutic areas such as respiratory and dermatology, which we would look to partner or out-license, as we focus on progressing our pipeline of mitochondrial-targetted therapeutics for degenerative diseases."
Oliver Sexton, Investment Director at the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund, said, “We’re delighted to be supporting MitoRx Therapeutics’ journey in creating innovative therapeutics for degenerative diseases. The company’s platform for reversing mitochondrial dysfunction has great potential to benefit people suffering from both rare and common forms of degenerative disease. ”
Professor Hideo Kimura, of Sanyo-Onoda City University, Japan, who is considered the father of the sulfide-signalling field welcomed MitoRx’s emergence saying, "One year after celebrating the 25th anniversary of our paper having discovered hydrogen sulfide was a signalling molecule in the brain, it is satisfying to finally welcome the emergence of the biotechnology company which seeks to treat diseases of impaired sulfide-signalling." (3)
The seed financing was backed by a broad range of investors including the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund, Wren Capital, Longevitytech.fund, The Fink Family Office, the Science Angel Syndicate Network, Oxford Technology Management, as well as angel investors. The seed financing will be used to fund pre-clinical proof-of-concept platform development and explore research collaborations and partnerships.
(1) January 2021 - Mitochondrial hydrogen sulfide supplementation improves health in the C. elegans Duchenne muscular dystrophy model. Ellwood et al. PNAS. https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2018342118
(2) January 2021 - Hydrogen sulfide is neuroprotective in Alzheimer’s disease by sulfhydrating GSK3β and inhibiting Tau hyperphosphorylation. Giovinazzo et al. PNAS. https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2017225118
(3) February 1996 - The possible role of hydrogen sulfide as an endogenous neuromodulator. Abe and Kimura. J Neurosci. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8558235/