Necrotizing Enterocolitis: There are currently no approved therapies to prevent NEC in high-risk premature infants. The mortality rate for infants with NEC is approximately 40% and the estimated annual healthcare costs associated with NEC exceeds $1 Billion in the US alone.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Market estimates project a $10 Billion market size by 2021. Currently the majority of products target immune suppression in order to manage IBD. These drugs are not suitable for long-term disease management as > 50% of patients progress with disease and the side effect profile includes infections. NRG-4 would be a first-in-class therapy that directly promotes the healing of damaged intestinal tissue in patients with Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis.
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Avexegen has active collaborations with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, BioInnovation Capital and Mission Bay Capital to help fund and support the development of NRG-4. We are working closely with our partners to advance the development of therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and NEC.
Our lead drug candidate, NRG-4, is a naturally occurring peptide present in GI tissue as well as human breast milk. We have demonstrated that NRG-4 is deficient in diseased GI tissue, and our preclinical models demonstrate significant restorative effects with NRG-4 treatment. NRG-4 would be the first therapy to directly target and heal damaged gut tissue in patients suffering from Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis, and it would be the first approved therapy for premature infants at risk of developing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)