Axonia Medical, which focuses on ways to repair and restore damaged peripheral and central nervous systems, has raised $2 million in seed financing. Southwest Michigan First Life Science Venture Fund led the round, which included participation from Ann Arbor SPARK and Western Michigan University Research Foundation, Biosciences Research and Commercialization Center.
Axonia Medical, an early stage company pioneering a revolutionary approach to repair and restore damaged peripheral and central nervous systems, announced today that the company has closed on $2.0 million in seed financing. The financing was led by Southwest Michigan First Life Science Venture Fund and included participation from Ann Arbor SPARK and Western Michigan University Research Foundation, Biosciences Research and Commercialization Center.
“We are very excited about our investment in Axonia Medical. The company has a number of the features we look for in an early-stage entity, including a talented and innovative team, world-class technology, an established intellectual property position and large market opportunity,” said Patrick Morand, Managing Director, Southwest Michigan First Life Science Venture Fund. “We look forward to working closely with the company and helping Axonia Medical reach its potential and build a world-class business.”
Nervous system injuries comprise a diverse group of disorders that include peripheral nerve injury (PNI), spinal cord injury (SCI), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and stroke. The common thread among these injuries is debilitation that is often severe, chronic and life altering. On its own, the nervous system has an extremely limited capacity to repair itself after injury – whether the damage results from the severing of a peripheral nerve following trauma or surgery, a blow to the head or spine, or lack of oxygen to the brain. Yet, there is a remarkable absence of viable treatment options to repair the injury and/or restore function, especially in brain and spinal cord injuries.
Leveraging ground-breaking discoveries regarding the growth and repair of the nervous system by its scientific founder, Dr. Douglas H. Smith at the University of Pennsylvania, Axonia Medical is developing novel and proprietary therapies for the functional repair of nervous systems. By recapitulating the anatomy of the nervous system, the company’s products are expected to bridge lost nervous tissue and jump-start regenerative mechanisms to achieve levels of functional recovery not possible with current technologies. Axonia Medical will use the seed funding to accelerate development of its lead product for peripheral nerve injury following traumatic injury and tumor resection, areas of significant unmet medical need due to the ineffectiveness and limited utility of current standards of care.
“The seed financing represents a significant milestone and thrilling time for our company,” said Co-Founder/President & CEO Harry Ledebur. “We believe our technology to be truly disruptive, a platform capable of transforming medical care for those unfortunate enough to suffer from a debilitating injury to their nervous system. This seed capital represents our opportunity to clearly demonstrate the far-reaching potential of our technology in large animal models while positioning our products for human clinical testing.”
“As one of the earliest participants in the UPstart Program at Penn, we are extremely proud of the progress that Axonia has made to date,” noted John Swartley, Deputy Executive Director of the Center for Technology Transfer at the University of Pennsylvania. “They are establishing a clear example and path that we are actively encouraging other UPstart companies to follow.”
About Axonia Medical
Axonia Medical is a privately owned-company located in Kalamazoo MI, founded by the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Douglas H. Smith, The Robert A. Groff Endowed Professor and Vice Chairman for Research, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Harry C. Ledebur, Fmr. Executive in Residence at Southwest Michigan Life Science Venture Fund. Axonia Medical is pioneering a revolutionary and proprietary approach to repair and restore damaged peripheral or central nervous systems using tissue-engineered nerve grafts (TENGs). By recapitulating the anatomy of the nervous system, TENGs are expected to bridge lost nervous tissue and jump-start regenerative mechanisms to achieve levels of functional recovery not possible with current technologies. As a result, TENGs may not only change the way nervous system injuries are treated, but also clinical expectations for restoration or recovery of sensory, motor and/or cognitive deficits. For more information, please contact the company at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The UPstart Program is an established partnership between the University of Pennsylvania and its faculty dedicated to the formation of new ventures based on Penn technologies. Launched in May 2010, the program currently includes more than fifty new venture projects in active development. UPstart provides vital company formation support to its program participants, and is a significant contributor to the innovation economy of the Greater Philadelphia region.