ReNeuron Group Plc (LON:RENE), the cell therapy specialist, said it was making progress on three fronts as its latest update revealed it was well-funded for the next round of development.
The company, which on Wednesday announced it was in the preliminary negotiations to out-licence its potential treatment for retinal disease, confirmed plans to advance its work with the victims of stroke.
Long-term data from a phase II study of patients receiving its CTX cell line showed some of the group enjoyed "sustained improvements in motor function and reduced levels of disability and dependence".
The plan now is to commence a US phase IIb study with the top-line data expected by the end of next year.
ReNeuron's hRPC stem cell candidate was used in a phase I/II clinical assessment of four patients with the eye disease retinitis pigmentosa. The study has now expanded to target people with less impaired vision and the first read-out from this early-stage trial is expected by the middle of next year.
The group's hRPC cells will also be deployed in the phase II study of sufferers of cone-rod dystrophy, which will run in parallel with a planned phase IIb in retinitis pigmentosa.
Exosome nanomedicine platform
Turning to ReNeuron's exosome nanomedicine platform, the group's research team presented positive pre-clinical data on an ExoPr0 therapy, which has the potential to target multiple diseases. The plan is to lodge an initial clinical trial application next year for its use in cancer.
Echoing Wednesday's update, ReNeuron said there had been "third party interest" in its main therapeutic programmes.
This resulted in the company agreeing a three-month exclusivity period with an unnamed US speciality pharma business, which assessing whether to licence the rights to ReNeuron's hRPC programme.
Robust cash position
In return, the AIM-listed stem cell group will receive up to £3.8mln (US$5mln) as the American group carries out its due diligence.
At March 31, the end of the last financial year, the group was sitting on cash of £37.4mln, having deployed £14.9mln on its clinical and pre-clinical activities. In common with most other development groups at this formative stage, ReNeuron was loss-making as it posted a deficit of £17.6mln for the 12 months.
"Our cash position remains robust and we are positioned to deliver significant clinical milestones across our therapeutic programmes during each of the next three years," said chief executive Olav Hellebø.