News Release

Invirsa obtains license from Nationwide Children's Hospital to fight respiratory diseases

Columbus-based company has a novel approach to treat injury and disease by repairing DNA damage

Business Announcement


Columbus, OH - Dec. 18, 2020 - Invirsa, a Columbus-based pharmaceutical company, today announced execution of a license agreement with the Abigail Wexner Research Institute (AWRI) at Nationwide Children's Hospital as Invirsa seeks to broaden its treatment platform to address respiratory diseases.

The announcement coincides with Invirsa's securing a $16.9 million contract from the government agency involved in the development of medical countermeasures. The contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will help move Invirsa's investigational product INV-102 to clinical trials and request FDA approval. The contract includes options for an additional $12.6 million upon completion of scientific milestones.

INV-102 is a compound intended to target conditions associated with DNA damage, including ocular, lung and skin injuries. DNA damage is a fundamental part of many types of injury, (particularly those from infectious diseases caused by viruses or bacteria), from radiation injury (ultraviolet and X-ray), or from chemical exposure such as sulfur mustard. INV-102 supports the cell's ability to repair its DNA, which in turn optimizes the wound healing process. The product is an innovative approach to treat injury and disease.

"Our license agreement with AWRI will greatly enhance our work, as the research institute is recognized as a national leader in pediatric health care research," said Robert Shalwitz, chief executive officer of Invirsa. "Lung damage is something that occurs across disease states, across age ranges. We know that respiratory diseases affect children disproportionately, and as we expand our INV-102 treatment platform into other conditions such as viral pneumonia, having AWRI as our license partner reinforces the efficacy of our work."


This license deal follows an oversubscribed Series A financing in late 2019, with participation from CincyTech and Rev1 Ventures and new investor Ohio Innovation Fund.

About Invirsa: Invirsa is an Ohio pharmaceutical company with a lead compound that provides damage control at the DNA level. By quickly and predictably augmenting the body's response to DNA damage, INV-102 improves cell stability at the critical moment. Invirsa plans to enter clinical trials in the near future for indications related to the eye, including acute infectious keratoconjunctivitis and keratoconjunctivitis sicca. In addition, Invirsa intends to expand its platform into other conditions associated with DNA damage such as viral pneumonia.

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