Reovacor

Transformative Therapies for Cardiovascular Disease

About Us

Renovacor, headquartered in Philadelphia, is a preclinical‑stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing transformative gene therapy‑based treatments for cardiovascular disease.

Renovacor’s lead program is a recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV)‑based gene therapy for patients suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) due to mutations in the Bcl2‑associated athanogene 3 (BAG3) gene.

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition affecting over 3 million patients in the US and growing steadily. Many patients develop DCM due to ischemic heart disease. Recently subpopulations have been identified that develop DCM due to mutations in specific genes that have been shown to result in the development of DCM. One of these specific genes is the BAG3 gene. The prevalence of disease‑causing BAG3 haploinsufficiency is estimated at approximately 35,000 individuals in the United States, representing an orphan disease by FDA guidelines. It is estimated a similar number of DCM patients with BAG3 mutations exist in Europe. These patients are typically younger and progress to end stage heart failure sooner than patients with ischemic heart disease. Currently DCM patients with a BAG3 mutation are treated with standard of care for heart failure. Despite improvements in pharmacotherapy and care, the five‑year survival of a patient with DCM is only 50%. Development of a BAG3 gene replacement therapy for patients with DCM that carry BAG3 mutations could potentially prevent progression of disease in this otherwise healthy population of young adults.

The foundational understanding of BAG3 mutations and the Company’s gene therapy product are based on 10 years of research performed by Arthur Feldman, MD, PhD, currently the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.

Temple University Disclosure Statement: Dr. Arthur Feldman is a founder and director of Renovacor and holds equity interest in Renovacor. Temple University has significant financial interests in the technology licensed to Renovacor. The financial interests are being managed in accordance with Temple University’s institutional policy.

Team

Management

(picture of Magdalene Cook)

Magdalene Cook, MD, President and CEO, has expertise building early stage biotech companies and working with scientists to help spin out transformative new technologies. Dr. Cook, a graduate of Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, worked as a Principal at Aisling Capital, a mid‑stage venture capital fund based in New York City focused on the biotech industry, for six years. During her tenure at Aisling, Dr. Cook led investments in several drug development companies in a variety of clinical indications including cardiovascular disease. Dr. Cook served on the board of directors of Cardiokine, which was founded by Dr. Feldman. Dr. Cook and Dr. Feldman worked together at Cardiokine for three years. Since leaving Aisling, Dr. Cook has been working as an independent consultant helping entrepreneurs launch new ventures in the drug development industry.

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(picture of Marcia Bologna)

Marcia Bologna, Senior R&D Advisor, has worked in the biotechnology industry since 1984 and as an independent consultant since 2012. She has experience leading early stage development teams to POC for 20+ biologics programs in the areas of inflammation, oncology, cardiovascular, hemophilia, tissue repair and biosimilar development.

Prior to becoming a consultant, Marcia held numerous leadership roles of increasing responsibility in the Biotechnology industry. Most recently she was a Senior Director at Pfizer responsible for initiating Pfizer’s biosimilar development strategy as well as developing a portfolio of global biosimilar clinical programs. Prior to joining Pfizer, Marcia was a Director of Program Management at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals where she led early stage development for Wyeth’s Biologics portfolio. In addition to managing of a group of Project Managers, she was a member of Wyeth’s R&D management team and contributed to the strategic management and prioritization of the R&D portfolio across all therapeutic areas. Marcia started her biotechnology career at Genetics Institute where, as a Staff Scientist in analytical biochemistry and process development, she contributed to many of the industry’s earliest marketed products including EPO, FVIII and BMP-2.

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(picture of Elena Chekhova)

Elena Chekhova, PhD, Project Leader, has over 15 years‑experience in the biotech industry. She has led drug development activities for over 25 programs, including small molecule, biologic, and gene therapy programs. Her responsibilities have included program leadership, management and development activities such as early discovery, pre‑clinical studies, CMC, and clinical development projects. Dr. Chekhova has set up successful collaborations with multiple CROs, CMOs and other vendors and effectively managed budgets and timelines. She has contributed to preparation and filing of INDs, IMPDs, DMF and NDAs.

Over the past 10 years, Dr. Chekhova has consulted for many companies, including: Galectin Therapeutics, Link Medicine, Tokai Pharmaceuticals, Zafgen, Aphios, Fresenius Medical Care, Accellient Partners, ChemDiv, Stealth Biotherapeutics, Aminex Therapeutics, isloo7, Diagnostics for All, multiple Atlas Ventures companies, Epirus Biotherapeutics, BPTC, Boston Pharmaceuticals, Karyopharm, Atea Pharmaceuticals, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Arsanis, Auregen Pharma, Epizyme, MIT and BC. Prior to establishing her consulting practice, Dr. Chekhova completed her PhD in Chemical Engineering through a joint program at MIT and the University of Dortmund (Germany), after which she spent time at McKinsey & Co. and then as a Product Development and Business Development professional at multiple contract manufacturing organizations.

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Valerie Myers, PhD, Director Preclinical Science, completed her doctorate in Organ Systems and Translational Medicine at Temple University. For the past 11 years Dr. Myers career focus has been signaling in heart failure with the goal of translational medicine as the outcome of her research. For the past six years Dr. Myers has focused on mutations in BAG3 and their contribution to adverse outcomes in individuals with heart failure. She has used BAG3 gene therapy in animal models of heart failure under the guidance of Dr. Feldman.

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(picture of Magdalene Cook)
Magdalene Cook MD President and CEO more
(picture of Marcia Bologna)
Marcia Bologna Senior R&D Advisor more
(picture of Elena Chekhova)
Elena Chekhova PhD Project Leader more
(picture of Valerie Myers)
Valerie Myers PhD Director Preclinical Science more

Board of Directors

(picture of Arthur Feldman)

Arthur Feldman, MD, PhD, Scientific Founder, is currently the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.

Dr. Feldman has spent his career studying the biology of heart muscle disease and caring for heart failure patients. He has held significant leadership positions in academic medicine including serving as Chief of Cardiology at the University of Pittsburgh, Chair of the Department of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University, and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine at Temple University. He served as the chair or co‑chair of PEECH, EMOTE, COMPANION, ESPRIT, Vesnarinone (Phases 1, 2, and 3), WEAR‑iT, and a CMS‑funded study of telemedicine. He also served on the steering committees that oversaw REMODEL, RENAISSANCE, ESSENTIAL, IMAC, GRAFH‑1, GRAFH‑2, and STICH, as the Chair of the Endpoint Committee for VEST, and Chair of the Data and Safety Monitor Committee of PROFILE. Dr. Feldman co‑founded three biotechnology companies prior to Renovacor. CPEC, Inc. was a spin‑out of Stanford, Utah and Johns Hopkins, which developed the drug bucindolol, a drug now under evaluation by ARCA Biopharma for the treatment of atrial fibrillation in patients with the β1389 arginine homozygous genotype. Dr. Feldman’s second company, C2R, was a boutique clinical research organization focused on cardiovascular clinical trials. Finally, Cardiokine was founded with intellectual property developed by Dr. Feldman at the University of Pittsburgh and the in‑license of a lead compound from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Feldman raised $30M in a Series A round, $50M in a Series B round, and $50M from a business development deal with Biogen‑Idec. Dr. Feldman is the founder of Renovacor and will serve as a Director on the Board of Directors.

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(picture of Magdalene Cook)

Magdalene Cook, MD, President and CEO, has expertise building early stage biotech companies and working with scientists to help spin out transformative new technologies. Dr. Cook, a graduate of Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, worked as a Principal at Aisling Capital, a mid‑stage venture capital fund based in New York City focused on the biotech industry, for six years. During her tenure at Aisling, Dr. Cook led investments in several drug development companies in a variety of clinical indications including cardiovascular disease. Dr. Cook served on the board of directors of Cardiokine, which was founded by Dr. Feldman. Dr. Cook and Dr. Feldman worked together at Cardiokine for three years. Since leaving Aisling, Dr. Cook has been working as an independent consultant helping entrepreneurs launch new ventures in the drug development industry.

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(picture of Edward Benz)

Edward J Benz, Jr., MD, is currently the Richard and Susan Smith Distinguished Professor of Medicine, professor of Pediatrics, professor of Pathology, and faculty dean emeritus for Oncology at Harvard Medical School. From November 2000 until October 2016, Dr. Benz served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Dana‑Farber Cancer Institute, Chief Executive Officer of Dana‑Farber/Partners CancerCare, Director of Dana‑Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and a Trustee of Dana‑Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Care. During his 16‑year presidency of Dana Farber, Farber developed 35 of the 72 new drugs approved for the treatment of various cancers.

Prior to joining Dana‑Farber, Dr. Benz was chairman of the Department of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Sir William Osler Professor of Medicine. Dr. Benz is also a past president of both the American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Clinical Investigation. From March 2002 to June 2016, Dr. Benz served as associate editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. He also serves on the boards of directors of Candel Therapeutics and Knowledge to Practice, Inc., privately held companies, as well as non‑profit organizations, including the MDI Biological Laboratory, Rockefeller University, Mount Desert Island Hospital, Friends of Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society. Dr. Benz is the author of over 300 books, chapters, reviews and abstracts. Dr. Benz holds an M.D. degree magna cum laude from Harvard Medical School, a MA Privatim degree from Yale University and an BA degree cum laude from Princeton University.

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Thomas Needham, MBA, is Director and Head of the Biopharmaceutical practice at Broadview Ventures. Tom shares responsibility for all aspects of Broadview’s investment activity, from identification and screening of new opportunities, through due diligence, negotiation of deal structure, and portfolio company board involvement.

Tom comes to Broadview with 25 years of experience in venture capital, business development, corporate strategy, and executive management responsibilities in public and private life science companies. Prior to joining Broadview Ventures, Tom was most recently Chief Business Officer at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: MACK) and Senior Vice President, Business Development at C4 Therapeutics.

Prior to C4T, Tom spent 13 years as a venture capital investor, most recently as a Managing Director at Synthesis Capital, where he was involved in the management of two healthcare venture funds focused on investments in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical technology. Prior to Synthesis, Tom was a Principal at Advent International, a global private equity firm, as a member of the healthcare venture capital deal team in Boston. Earlier in his career, Tom held Vice President of Business Development positions at private and public biotech companies, including GPC Biotech (FSE:GPC/Nasdaq:GPCB) and Mitotix, Inc. (acquired by GPC Biotech), where he led the negotiation and closing of a number of strategic transactions, including industry partnerships with global pharmaceutical companies, R&D collaborations, licensing and M&A transactions. Tom holds a B.A. from Bowdoin College and an MBA from Babson College’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business.

Tom currently holds board roles at Kantum Pharma, Renovacor and Nido Surgical. Tom’s venture investment experience also includes working on Cardero Therapeutics, Astex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ASTX, acquired by Otsuka), Enanta Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ENTA), MD Everywhere (acquired by Marlin Equity Partners), Sirion Therapeutics (trade sale to Alcon and Bausch & Lomb) and as an active deal team member on the IPO and exit from Aegerion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AEGR).

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(picture of Campbell Murray)

Campbell Murray, MD, is a Managing Director at NVF in Cambridge, MA, USA. Prior to joining NVF, he worked at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research as the Director of Special Projects. Campbell is a New Zealand‑trained physician and worked as a Medical House Officer at Auckland Hospital. He is a Kauffman Fellow and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an MPP (public policy) from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he was a Knox Fellow and Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.

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(picture of Arthur Feldman)
Arthur Feldman MD, PhD Scientific Founder more
(picture of Magdalene Cook)
Magdalene Cook MD President and CEO more
(picture of Edward Benz)
Edward J Benz, Jr. MD more
(picture of Thomas Needham)
Thomas Needham MBA Broadview Ventures more
(picture of Campbell Murray)
Campbell Murray MD Novartis Venture Fund more

Technology

Renovacor’s lead program is a recombinant adeno‑associated virus (AAV)‑based gene therapy for patients suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) due to mutations in the BAG3 gene.

The BAG3 protein is involved in several critical cellular processes, including autophagy (protein quality control) and the prevention of apoptosis. Through extensive preclinical studies, Renovacor has shown that deficiencies in BAG3 cause a pathology that mimics human DCM and has demonstrated that its BAG3 gene therapy treatment restores normal left ventricular function (Myers et al., 2018).

The foundational understanding of BAG3 mutations and the Company’s gene therapy product are based on 10 years of research performed by Arthur Feldman, MD, PhD, the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine Temple University. To hear the story of the family whose struggles with this disease led to the discovery of BAG3‑mediated cardiomyopathy and ultimately to the founding of Renovacor, watch the documentary “Nobody’s Perfect”.

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View the short documentary Nobody’s Perfect By Dana Weidman

Filmmaker, Dana Weidman, explores the story behind the genetic mutation that causes dilated cardiomyopathy.

News

Press Release  .  08/14/2019

Renovacor Closes $11 Million Series A Financing to Advance First Gene Therapy for a Rare Cardiovascular Disease

– Funding supports preclinical development through IND submission for its BAG3 gene therapy, the first gene replacement product for genetic forms of dilated cardiomyopathy

– Company announces leadership team and board of directors with leading scientists, physicians and experienced venture investors in cardiovascular and gene therapy fields

Renovacor, Inc, a preclinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing transformative gene therapy‑based treatments for cardiovascular disease, today announced the successful completion of an $11 million Series A financing co‑led by Novartis Venture Fund, Broadview Ventures, and BioAdvance, and joined by New Leaf Venture Partners and Innogest Capital.

Renovacor’s lead program is a recombinant adeno‑associated virus (AAV)‑based gene therapy for patients suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) due to mutations in the BAG3 gene. The foundational understanding of BAG3 mutations and the Company’s gene therapy product are based on 10 years of research performed by Dr. Arthur Feldman, MD, PhD, the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine Temple University. Proceeds from the Series A financing will be used to advance the Company’s first-of-its-kind gene replacement therapy through filing of an IND in preparation to initiate human clinical trials in DCM patients who have mutations in their BAG3 gene.

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition affecting over 3 million patients in the US and growing steadily. Many patients develop DCM due to ischemic heart disease. Recently subpopulations have been identified that develop DCM due to mutations in specific genes that have been shown to result in the development of DCM. One of these specific genes is the Bcl2-associated athanogene 3 (BAG3) gene. The prevalence of disease causing BAG3 haploinsufficiency is estimated at approximately 35,000 individuals in the United States, representing an orphan disease by FDA guidelines. It is estimated a similar number of DCM patients with BAG3 mutations exist in Europe. These patients are typically younger and progress to end stage heart failure sooner than patients with ischemic heart disease. Currently DCM patients with a BAG3 mutation are treated with standard of care for heart failure. Despite improvements in pharmacotherapy and care, the five-year survival of a patient with DCM is only 50%. Development of a BAG3 gene replacement therapy for patients with DCM that carry BAG3 mutations could potentially prevent progression of disease in this otherwise healthy population of young adults.

In conjunction with the financing, Renovacor announced its leadership team and board of directors including Dr. Magdalene Cook, Renovacor’s President/CEO, Dr. Arthur M. Feldman, MD, PhD, FACC, Renovacor’s Founder and the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Thomas Needham, MBA, Director, Broadview Ventures, Dr. Campbell Murray, Managing Director, Novartis Venture Fund, and Dr. Edward J. Benz, President and CEO Emeritus of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and currently the Richard and Susan Smith Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Professor of Pediatrics, and Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School.

“There are currently no precision medicine options for cardiovascular patients with specific genetic mutations — a deficiency that Renovacor hopes to address,” said Magdalene Cook, MD, President and CEO of Renovacor. “By bringing the first precision therapy for a cardiovascular disease to the market, we aim to change the therapeutic paradigm that has existed in this field for more than three decades.”

“Renovacor’s gene therapy is the only gene replacement strategy being carried out in a heart failure population today,” said Dr. Arthur M. Feldman, Renovacor’s founder. “By replacing a missing gene that is causative of disease, Renovacor’s potentially curative treatment aims to stop the progression of the disease and save the lives of otherwise healthy young adults.”

About Renovacor

Renovacor is a preclinical stage biotechnology company whose mission is to develop improved therapies for genetically derived cardiovascular diseases. The company is currently developing a gene therapy for a rare, familial form of dilated cardiomyopathy. Renovacor’s lead gene therapy product aims to restore cardiac function in patients with symptomatic heart failure due to BAG3 gene mutation. For further information about Renovacor, please visit www.renovacorinc.com.

About BioAdvance

BioAdvance is a $50M early stage life sciences fund, working with entrepreneurs in the mid-Atlantic region to build strong companies that have the potential to improve human health. Since making its first investments in 2003, BioAdvance has committed $46.4M in funding to 92 organizations developing over 122 products in the diagnostics, therapeutic, medtech, research tools and digital health sectors. BioAdvance portfolio companies have leveraged $2.78 billion in subsequent capital, including proceeds from twelve acquisitions. Eleven products have received FDA approval. For more information please visit www.bioadvance.com.

About Broadview Ventures

Broadview Ventures is a life science venture fund whose mission is to improve human health in the areas of cardiovascular disease and stroke by investing in early stage companies developing impactful therapeutics, devices, and diagnostics. For more information about Broadview Ventures, visit broadviewventures.org.

About Innogest Capital

Innogest Capital is a venture capital firm with offices in Milan, Turin, Geneva and San Francisco that builds value from healthcare companies that make the difference in the clinical field. With over €200 million of capital under management Innogest Capital has built a global team of investors, entrepreneurs, industry experts and clinicians focused on cardiovascular and metabolic diseases as well as a global team focused on oncology. Learn more at: www.innogestcapital.com

About New Leaf Venture Partners

NLVP was formed in 2005 when the healthcare team spun out of the Sprout Group. The NLVP team has been built over the last two decades and managed healthcare technology portfolios in four Sprout funds and six New Leaf funds, including our two latest funds — New Leaf Ventures IV for venture investments and New Leaf Biopharma Opportunities II for private and public growth-stage biopharmaceuticals investments. We partner with companies across all phases, from startup to public offerings, as we look to invest in visionary teams, businesses at the forefront of biology and innovation, and disruptive healthcare technologies across the entire healthcare system. And we share our broad perspectives, decades of experience and deep domain expertise to help our portfolio navigate the complexity of the healthcare industry. For more information, visit www.nlvpartners.com.

About Novartis Venture Fund

Novartis Venture Fund is a financially driven corporate life science venture fund whose purpose is to foster innovation, drive significant patient benefit and generate superior returns by creating and investing in innovative life science companies at various stages of their development. For more information, visit www.nvfund.com

Temple University Disclosure Statement

Dr. Arthur Feldman is a founder and director of Renovacor and holds equity interest in Renovacor. Temple University has significant financial interests in the technology licensed to Renovacor. The financial interests are being managed in accordance with Temple University’s institutional policy.

Company Contacts

Renovacor:
Magdalene Cook, MD
CEO, Renovacor
203-524-0788
mcook@renovacorinc.com

For Media Requests:
Katie Gallagher
617-792-3937
LaVoieHealth Science
kgallagher@lavoiehealthscience.com

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