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ReNeuron Group PLC: DEEP DIVE

ReNeuron Group primed for a pivotal 18 months

The latest update reveals the company significant clinical and commercial milestones in sight
dna strand
OVERVIEW: RENE The Big Picture
The company has unique stem cell technologies that can be administered “off-the-shelf”
  • Developer of stem cell technologies
  • Has two clinical stage technologies
  • Stroke treatment in Phase IIb trials
  • Recently inked a Chinese licensing deal

What the Company Does

ReNeuron Group PLC (LON:RENE) has unique stem cell technologies that can be administered “off-the-shelf”. Its lead candidate has been developed to treat people disabled by a stroke.

Its human retinal progenitor cells (hRPC), meanwhile, have scored some early success. A Phase I/II assessment of a very small group of sufferers of a blindness-causing disease called retinitis pigmentosa saw a significant improvement in vision after treatment.

As at the end of March, the business had just over £29mln in the bank. Including the £6mln upfront payment from its collaboration with Fosun Pharma of China, ReNeuron reckons it has funds enough for at least the next 12 months.

Inflexion Points

In a May 8 update, the company confirmed a second group of three people suffering retinal disease have been dosed with its hRPC cell line. The vision of this latest trio is more impaired than the first. In all, ReNeuron expects to dose 12 people suffering from the degenerative condition retinitis pigmentosa with results from the phase IIa study expected by the end of the year.

The company has announced positive Phase II data from patients treated with its neural stem cells, with a Phase IIb trial, called PISCES III, underway. The results from this trial are expected in the second-half of next year rather than the first-half as planned.

ReNeuron is also “pursuing opportunities to capitalise on the significant scientific and industry interest in its exosomes technology by forming value-generating, business partnerships”.

Exosomes are nanoparticles released by cells and contain a number of active proteins and micro RNAs that are believed to play a key role in cell-to-cell communication. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that exosomes can modulate cellular immunity and promote the activation of regenerative or repair programmes in diseased or injured cells. The company’s CTX cells release large amounts of exosomes when grown in the laboratory enabling its scientists to purify and characterise them.

ExoPr0 is ReNeuron’s first CTX-derived exosome therapeutic. It has demonstrated pre-clinical potential as both a treatment and a drug delivery vehicle. In January the firm told investors it had signed an exomes collaboration agreement with an unnamed US-based group. On May 8 it revealed it is in “active early discussions” with other commercial third parties.

A big long-term value kicker was announced in April when the company struck a licensing deal with Chinese pharma Fosun worth up to £80mln over the next few years. Deals for its two clinical-stage treatments would provide third-party validation for the technology, but could conceivably be worth much more than the Fosun tie-up.

Blue Sky

The share price has rocketed from 50p to 300p on the back of the recent news flow. But even so, analysts believe there is more ‘upside’. Edison Research believes the company is worth 630p. The broker Stifel has a price target of 690p. “The business remains significantly undervalued,” Stifel said in April.

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