NephroGenex Licenses Molecular Profiling Technology and Kinase Inhibitors for Kidney Disease

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This kidney-specific molecular profiling technology represents a fundamental component of our approach to characterize the complex pathology of renal disease

NephroGenex, Inc., a biotechnology company developing treatments for kidney disease based on molecular profiling, announced today the signing of two licensing agreements that provide the company with a kidney-specific molecular profiling technology and inhibitors of a novel kinase therapeutic target for renal disease.

NephroGenex has acquired exclusive commercial rights to the glomerular transcriptome profiling technology developed by Drs. Karl Tryggvason and Christer Betsholtz of the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics at the world renowned Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. This technology utilizes "GlomChip," a DNA chip developed to measure expressed genes in the glomerulus. The glomerulus is the filtration unit of the kidney and the micro-organ where the leading renal diseases originate and progress. Glomchip measures the expression of over 6000 genes, 300 of which are only expressed in the glomerulus, and not other parts of the kidney. This molecular profiling technology is being used to identify key renal-specific pathogenic pathways that emerge in the leading kidney diseases.

Current treatments for the leading renal diseases target causative systemic pathologies (e.g. blood pressure, immunological response). These treatments are at best marginally effective, and do not appreciably delay the progression to end stage renal disease (ESRD). The prevalence and incidence of ESRD continues to rise. Targeting renal-specific pathology has shown promise in preclinical studies. However, the diversity of disease processes that are activated in the kidney due to diabetes, hypertension, circulating IgA and lupus (i.e. the leading renal diseases), has hampered drug development efforts.

"This kidney-specific molecular profiling technology represents a fundamental component of our approach to characterize the complex pathology of renal disease," indicated Dr. Wesley Fox, President and CEO of NephroGenex. "This technology will enable NephroGenex to utilize established clinical candidates that target renal-specific disease pathology and direct them to patients that are more likely to respond to the action of the drug."

NephroGenex has also acquired exclusive commercial rights in the renal disease field to a proprietary GPBP kinase technology and inhibitors being developed in the laboratory of Dr. Juan Saus at the Fundacion Valenciana de Investigaciones Biomedicas (Biomedical Research Foundation), Valencia, Spain. GPBP (Goodpasture antigen binding protein) kinase is active against extracellular matrix molecules, and appears to play an important role in their proper organization and function. According to Dr. Fox, "Elevated expression of GPBP kinase has been shown to accompany inflammatory and fibrotic disease processes, and GPBP kinase inhibitors dramatically reduce glomerulosclerosis and lung fibrosis in preclinical studies."

About NephroGenex, Inc.

NephroGenex is a new biotechnology company developing treatments for kidney disease utilizing the latest scientific advancements in molecular profiling. More than 20 million Americans have some form of chronic kidney disease, and over 400,000 in the US have end stage renal disease (ESRD), making renal disease one of the costliest illnesses to treat. Kidney disease is a very complex disease, and although a number of preclinical drug candidates have been identified in the last decade, few clinical trials have been initiated.

NephroGenex's kidney-specific, glomerular molecular profiling technology is establishing molecular profiles or "fingerprints" for the leading renal diseases. These profiles provide for the identification of disease pathways that are active in a patient's renal disease. In addition, the incorporation of molecular profiling into Phase II clinical trials provides for the determination of profiles and/or biomarkers that identify patients that respond to the drug candidate under evaluation. These identified profiles and biomarkers can subsequently be incorporated into pivotal Phase III trials, increasing the likelihood of demonstrating a statistically significant treatment effect. Moreover, molecular profiling has the potential to significantly reduce the size, length and cost of clinical trials.

The founders and collaborating scientists of NephroGenex are world leading experts on the molecular basis of kidney disease and the application of genomic and proteomic molecular profiling to the characterization of glomerular disease processes.


J. Wesley Fox, Ph.D.

President and CEO

NephroGenex, Inc.

(919) 678-9512
Email: [email protected]

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J. Wesley Fox, Ph.D.
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