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

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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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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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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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Board of Directors

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Arthur Feldman, MD, PhD, Founder, received his BA from Gettysburg College followed by an MS in Zoology and a PhD in physiology from the University of Maryland, College Park. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Saul Brusilow in the Department of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, he pursued the MD degree at the Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. He then returned to Baltimore where he completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in cardiovascular disease at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, joining the faculty in the Department of Medicine in July 1986 as an Assistant Professor.

In 1990 he received a joint appointment in the Department of Physiology. He subsequently was appointed Associate Professor and became the Co‑Director of the Belfer Laboratories and Director of the Belfer Laboratory for the Molecular Biology of Heart Failure. In 1994 Dr. Feldman was recruited to the University of Pittsburgh as the Harry S. Tack Professor of Medicine, Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology, Director of the University of Pittsburgh Heart Institute and Chief of the Division of Cardiology. In 1998 he joined the Graduate Faculty of the Department of Human Genetics. The following year he became the Director of the Cardiovascular Institute of the UPMC Health System, an amalgamation of the primary focus at Presbyterian University Hospital and 14 sites of care across western Pennsylvania.

In 2002, Feldman was recruited to Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University as the Magee Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine, a position he held until 2011 when he was recruited to Temple University as the Executive Dean of the School of Medicine and Chief Academic Officer of the Temple Health System, a position he held until 2016.

Since 2016 he has been the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Medicine. Dr. Feldman’s research, supported through grants from the National Institutes of Health, has focused on the molecular biology of dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure. He has received numerous awards and honors for his work including election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of University Cardiologists, the Association of American Physicians, the American Clinical and Climatologic Association, and the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars.

He has served as the President of the Heart Failure Society of America, as the President of the Association of the Professors of Cardiology, was the founding Editor‑in‑Chief of Clinical and Translational Science (CTS) and the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science and he presently is a member of the council of the ACCA. He was the recipient of the Rolex Achievement Award from the USILA, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Gettysburg College, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Heart Failure Society of America, the Barry Coller Award from the Association for Clinical and Translational Science and the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American College of Cardiology. Since 1998 he has been listed with regularity in “Best Doctors in America.”

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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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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 BA 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 Antag Therapeutics. Tom’s venture investment experience also includes working on Epirium Bio (fka 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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Dr. Nandita Shangari is a Principal at the Novartis Venture Fund in Cambridge, MA USA. Prior to joining NVF, she was part of the Novartis Oncology Business Development and Licensing team where she managed key alliances for the Oncology Portfolio. Before that, Nandita, held the Global Program Team Director position as part of the Kymriah® Global Program Team and helped bring this novel cell therapy to market, for two indications, in the US and EU. Nandita has also held strategic and group head roles in the Novartis Preclinical Investigative Toxicology organization. Nandita received her B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Toronto, Canada.

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Anne Prener, MD, PhD, has more than 25 years of experience in leading companies and teams within biotechnology across several therapeutic areas with a special focus on rare diseases and gene therapy.

She most recently served as the chief executive officer of Freeline Therapeutics, Ltd., a liver‑directed gene therapy company, where she scaled the company from preclinical stage company to a fully integrated biotechnology organization, which included a broad, internally developed pipeline, two programs in clinical development and a commercial‑scale, high‑quality CMC and manufacturing platform. Prior to joining Freeline Therapeutics, she served as the chief executive officer of Gyroscope Therapeutics Ltd., a gene therapy company focused on eye diseases. Before that, Dr. Prener was vice president, clinical research hematology and global therapeutic area head of hematology at Baxalta. During her time there, three new major product approvals in both the US and EU were secured along with a significant advancement in Baxalta’s hematology portfolio, including gene therapy for hemophilia. Earlier in her career, Dr. Prener held several positions of increasing responsibility at Novo Nordisk, most recently serving as senior vice president, hemophilia R&D portfolio where she was instrumental in building the hemophilia franchise to a portfolio of several late stage and commercial products.

Dr. Prener holds a PhD in epidemiology and an MD, both from the University of Copenhagen.

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Arthur Feldman MD, PhD Founder more
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Thomas Needham MBA Broadview Ventures more
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Scientific Advisory Board

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Arthur Feldman, MD, PhD, Founder, received his BA from Gettysburg College followed by an MS in Zoology and a PhD in physiology from the University of Maryland, College Park. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Saul Brusilow in the Department of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, he pursued the MD degree at the Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. He then returned to Baltimore where he completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in cardiovascular disease at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, joining the faculty in the Department of Medicine in July 1986 as an Assistant Professor.

In 1990 he received a joint appointment in the Department of Physiology. He subsequently was appointed Associate Professor and became the Co‑Director of the Belfer Laboratories and Director of the Belfer Laboratory for the Molecular Biology of Heart Failure. In 1994 Dr. Feldman was recruited to the University of Pittsburgh as the Harry S. Tack Professor of Medicine, Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology, Director of the University of Pittsburgh Heart Institute and Chief of the Division of Cardiology. In 1998 he joined the Graduate Faculty of the Department of Human Genetics. The following year he became the Director of the Cardiovascular Institute of the UPMC Health System, an amalgamation of the primary focus at Presbyterian University Hospital and 14 sites of care across western Pennsylvania.

In 2002, Feldman was recruited to Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University as the Magee Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine, a position he held until 2011 when he was recruited to Temple University as the Executive Dean of the School of Medicine and Chief Academic Officer of the Temple Health System, a position he held until 2016.

Since 2016 he has been the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Medicine. Dr. Feldman’s research, supported through grants from the National Institutes of Health, has focused on the molecular biology of dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure. He has received numerous awards and honors for his work including election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of University Cardiologists, the Association of American Physicians, the American Clinical and Climatologic Association, and the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars.

He has served as the President of the Heart Failure Society of America, as the President of the Association of the Professors of Cardiology, was the founding Editor‑in‑Chief of Clinical and Translational Science (CTS) and the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science and he presently is a member of the council of the ACCA. He was the recipient of the Rolex Achievement Award from the USILA, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Gettysburg College, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Heart Failure Society of America, the Barry Coller Award from the Association for Clinical and Translational Science and the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American College of Cardiology. Since 1998 he has been listed with regularity in “Best Doctors in America.”

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Michael Bristow, MD, PhD, is Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and Director of the Section of Pharmacogenomics in the University of Colorado Cardiovascular Institute.

Dr. Bristow received his MD and PhD in pharmacology in 1970 and 1971 from the University of Illinois Chicago MD/PhD Program, completed an NIH postdoctoral fellowship in pharmacology at the University of Illinois, and received his medical training at Stanford University. He remained at Stanford to complete a fellowship in cardiology, and joined the Cardiology faculty in 1979. He moved to the University of Utah in 1984, where he co‑founded the first multi‑hospital heart transplant program in the US In 1991 he was recruited to the University of Colorado in Denver as Head of the Division of Cardiology, and served in that capacity until 2004.

Dr. Bristow has authored more than 500 peer‑reviewed papers and chapters on heart failure, cardiac transplantation, pharmacogenomics and other cardiovascular topics. He has received many academic and industry honors, including the Therapeutics Frontiers Award by the American college of Clinical Pharmacy (1993), the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Clinical Trial Exceptional Service Award (2008), the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Heart Failure Society of America (2008), Scientist of the Year by the Colorado Chapter of the ARCS Foundation (2008), University of Illinois Alumni Achievement Award, (2009) and the Distinguished Scientist Award (Translational Domain) by the American College of Cardiology (2014).

Dr. Bristow is also President and CEO of ARCA Biopharma; a Westminster, CO company he founded in 2003 to develop genetically targeted therapies for heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases. In 2007, he co‑founded Miragen Therapeutics, Inc., a Boulder company dedicated to utilizing the biologic properties of microRNA in developing therapies for cardiovascular diseases. He was the principal founder and former Chief Science and Medical Officer of Myogen, Inc., a Westminster, CO biopharmaceutical company that was acquired by Gilead Sciences in 2006. These companies, all founded on university‑licensed intellectual property generated by Dr. Bristow and his collaborators, have been responsible for creating hundreds of jobs in Colorado, and have returned over $2 billion to investors.

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Douglas Mann, MD, is the Lewin Distinguished Professor in Cardiovascular Disease and Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology. He received his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia and completed fellowships in clinical cardiology at the University of California San Diego, and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He served as chief of cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine (2005‑2009) and Washington University School of Medicine (2009‑2019).

Dr. Mann’s primary research interest has been the molecular and cellular basis of heart failure, with particular emphasis on the role of innate immunity in disease progression and recovery of the failing heart. The author of numerous peer reviewed articles on the role on inflammatory mediators in cardiac remodeling and myocardial recovery, Dr. Mann is also the founding editor of Heart Failure, A Companion to Braunwald’s Heart Disease, and a co‑editor of Braunwald’s Heart Disease, the leading textbook in cardiovascular medicine. Dr. Mann is currently the founding Editor‑in‑Chief for JACC: Basic to Translational Science, and is a member of the Editorial Board of Circulation, The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, JACC Heart Failure, Cardiology Today, Heart and Vessels, and Heart Failure Reviews.

Among his honors are the Michael E. DeBakey award for excellence in research, the Alfred Soffer Award for Editorial Excellence, the Simon Dack Award from for outstanding scholarship, the Hugh McCullough Award from the American Heart Association, the Distinguished Mentor Award from the American College of Cardiology, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Heart Failure Society of America and elected membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians the Association of University Cardiologists, and the American Clinical and Climatological Association. He is the past president of the Heart Failure Society.

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Dennis McNamara, MD, is a Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Center for Heart Failure Research at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). Dr. McNamara, a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Medical School, completed his research and clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston before joining the University of Pittsburgh faculty in 1994.

For the last twenty years his research has focused on the pathogenesis of primary dilated cardiomyopathy and the impact of genetic heterogeneity on clinical outcomes. He directed the recently completed IPAC study (Investigation of Pregnancy Associated Cardiomyopathy), a thirty center investigation of myocardial recovery for women with peripartum cardiomyopathy.

He is a recognized leader in the field of pharmacogenomics and heart failure therapeutics, and his laboratory has functioned as a core genomics lab for numerous multi‑center trials including the AHeFT study of Heart Failure in African Americans. He is the Principal Investigator for the NIH funded multicenter investigation GRAHF2, (Genomic Response Analysis for Heart Failure Therapy in African Americans) which will explore the potential use of genomics to tailor heart failure therapeutics.

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Joseph Glorioso III, MD, PhD, is the Emeritus Chair of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in the medical school having served as chair for 20 years. He served as the founding editor for Gene Therapy for 20 years. He is a founding member and former president of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy and former president of the Dept Chairs of the US Medical School Microbiology and Immunology Departments. He is a fellow of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

He has had an active NIH supported research program for 40 years and has been active NIH study Section member for several decades. He also Co‑founded and is Chair of the Scientific Advisory Boards of Oncorus, Inc. Cambridge, MA and Coda Biotherapeutics, San Francisco, CA. He is Chair of the Scientific Advisory Council for the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy, a non‑profit foundation to support innovative cancer therapies.

Dr. Glorioso’s contributions to science include defining antiviral immune responses to herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection, the genetics of HSV pathogenesis and latency, and mechanisms of HSV infection. He has pioneered the design and application of HSV gene vectors for the treatment of nervous system diseases such as peripheral neuropathies, chronic pain, and brain tumors. He continues to be a worldwide leader in the HSV gene vector field through the creation of innovative gene delivery technologies and the development of manufacturing methods for application of HSV vectors in human clinical trials.

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Anne Prener, MD, PhD, has more than 25 years of experience in leading companies and teams within biotechnology across several therapeutic areas with a special focus on rare diseases and gene therapy.

She most recently served as the chief executive officer of Freeline Therapeutics, Ltd., a liver‑directed gene therapy company, where she scaled the company from preclinical stage company to a fully integrated biotechnology organization, which included a broad, internally developed pipeline, two programs in clinical development and a commercial‑scale, high‑quality CMC and manufacturing platform. Prior to joining Freeline Therapeutics, she served as the chief executive officer of Gyroscope Therapeutics Ltd., a gene therapy company focused on eye diseases. Before that, Dr. Prener was vice president, clinical research hematology and global therapeutic area head of hematology at Baxalta. During her time there, three new major product approvals in both the US and EU were secured along with a significant advancement in Baxalta’s hematology portfolio, including gene therapy for hemophilia. Earlier in her career, Dr. Prener held several positions of increasing responsibility at Novo Nordisk, most recently serving as senior vice president, hemophilia R&D portfolio where she was instrumental in building the hemophilia franchise to a portfolio of several late stage and commercial products.

Dr. Prener holds a PhD in epidemiology and an MD, both from the University of Copenhagen.

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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  .  02/24/2020

Anne Prener, M.D., Ph.D. Appointed to Renovacor Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board

Renovacor, Inc, a preclinical‑stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing transformative gene therapy‑based treatments for cardiovascular disease, today announced the addition of Dr. Anne Prener to both the company’s board of directors and scientific advisory board.

Dr. Prener has a proven track record of building and leading high‑performing global teams for both preclinical and clinical stage biotech companies. Her 25+ years of experience across several therapeutic areas has focused on rare diseases and gene therapy. Most recently, Dr. Prener served as CEO of Freeline Therapeutics, Ltd., where she scaled the company from the preclinical stage to a fully‑integrated biotechnology organization, which included a broad, internally developed pipeline, two programs in clinical development and a commercial‑scale, high‑quality CMC and manufacturing platform. Prior to that, Dr. Prener was CEO for Gyroscope, a gene therapy company focused on addressing important retinal diseases with novel approaches. She helped build the company from start, including hiring the clinical, regulatory and scientific teams, developed medical and commercial strategy and served as a leading board director of the company. Overall, Dr. Prener has been instrumental in bringing six biologics through development, approval and launch preparations, of which one new treatment for hemophilia took only 4.5 years from first human dose to approval.

– Former CEO of Freeline Therapeutics, Ltd. has outstanding international drug development, commercialization expertise, with focus on rare disease, gene therapy

Renovacor, Inc, a preclinical‑stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing transformative gene therapy‑based treatments for cardiovascular disease, today announced the addition of Dr. Anne Prener to both the company’s board of directors and scientific advisory board.

Dr. Prener has a proven track record of building and leading high‑performing global teams for both preclinical and clinical stage biotech companies. Her 25+ years of experience across several therapeutic areas has focused on rare diseases and gene therapy. Most recently, Dr. Prener served as CEO of Freeline Therapeutics, Ltd., where she scaled the company from the preclinical stage to a fully‑integrated biotechnology organization, which included a broad, internally developed pipeline, two programs in clinical development and a commercial‑scale, high‑quality CMC and manufacturing platform. Prior to that, Dr. Prener was CEO for Gyroscope, a gene therapy company focused on addressing important retinal diseases with novel approaches. She helped build the company from start, including hiring the clinical, regulatory and scientific teams, developed medical and commercial strategy and served as a leading board director of the company. Overall, Dr. Prener has been instrumental in bringing six biologics through development, approval and launch preparations, of which one new treatment for hemophilia took only 4.5 years from first human dose to approval.

“We are delighted to have Anne join both the board of directors and scientific advisory board at a time when our industry has a pressing need for more women in high‑impact leadership and mentorship roles,” said Renovacor CEO Magdalene Cook. “Anne is not only a brilliant scientist in her own right, but her experience as CEO at two prior gene therapy companies will be invaluable and highly relevant to the opportunities and challenges we will face as we build Renovacor. I know Anne will be an engaged and effective advisor and will help us develop foundational long‑term strategies.”

“I look forward to working with such distinguished colleagues in a uniquely positioned company in the rare disease gene therapy space. The cardiovascular clinical indication is a virtually untouched one, with many exciting possibilities,” said Anne Prener, M.D., Ph.D. “My role on the board of directors and scientific advisory board will be hands‑on. I will engage with Dr. Cook and her team bringing my experience to bear on pivotal near term initiatives, key to Renovacor’s success, from manufacturing to preclinical and clinical planning, building a pipeline, and progressing the long term strategic goals of the company.”

Dr. Prener joins Renovacor’s world‑class Scientific Advisory Board, which also includes Arthur M. Feldman, MD, PhD, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, and Founder, Renovacor; Michael Bristow, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine‑Cardiology, University of Colorado, School of Medicine, and Co‑founder, President and CEO, ARCABiopharma; Douglas Mann, MD, Lewin Professor of Medicine, Director of Cardiovascular Division, Washington University School of Medicine; Dennis McNamara, MD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Heart Failure Center, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; and Joseph Glorioso III, PhD, Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

A Commitment to Improving Treatment of Genetically derived Cardiovascular Diseases

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, based on discoveries made by Renovacor Founder, Dr. Arthur M. Feldman. 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. 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.

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.

Company Contacts

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

For Media Requests:
Samantha Choinski
603-489-5964
LaVoieHealth Science
schoinski@lavoiehealthscience.com

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Press Release  .  08/14/2019

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

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.

– 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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