A regenerative medicine spinoff from the Cleveland Clinic that’s developing a wound healing treatment has closed a $3.4 million series A round of investment.
SironRX Therapeutics will use the funding to begin clinical trials of its wound therapy technology and hire senior management and clinical staff, CEO Rahul Aras said.
The round was led by Cleveland-area angel investor group North Coast Angel Fund, and featured participation by a number of other investors, including Cleveland Clinic, JumpStart, Fletcher Spaght Investments, Glengary, Ohio Tech Angel Fund, Early Stage Partners and X Gen.
Aras had previously said SironRX planned to raise $3 million for its series A round, so the larger amount illustrates that the young company is achieving success in convincing investors of its potential — something that bodes well for subsequent funding rounds.
“The round was oversubscribed,” Aras said. “I believe that this was a result of the SironRX opportunity being built on a very solid scientific and technical foundation, and the potential to obtain clinical data in a short time frame and reasonable capital raise.”
The technology behind SironRX is also the basis for another company, Juventas Therapeutics, which is pursuing a treatment for cardiovascular disease. The technology is called JVS-100 and is based on Stromal Cell-Derived Factor-1 (SDF-1), a naturally produced molecule that attempts to repair the heart immediately following a heart attack.
SironRX licensed the technology from Juventas in the fields of skin and bone repair. Aras is CEO of each company.
SironRX hopes that clinical testing shows JVS-100 reduces the amount of time it takes a wound to heal as well as the scarring associated with it.
The plan is to begin a clinical trial early next year with patients who’ve undergone a median sternotomy procedure, a surgery that involves cutting through the sternum with a saw. The procedure is used in coronary artery bypass and valve replacement operations.
The placebo-controlled, randomized, dose-escalation trial will be aimed at evaluating the safety and efficacy of SironRX’s technology in accelerating wound closure and reducing scar formation in median sternotomy patients, Aras said.
The technology employed by SironRX and Juventas was pioneered by Dr. Marc Penn, director of research for Summa Cardiovascular Institute in Akron. Penn is chief science officer with each company and is among Northeast Ohio’s most prominent physician-entrepreneurs, playing a role with several other local companies, including Athersys, Cleveland Heartlab and VasoStar.