Direct-to-Phase II SBIR Grant from NIH Awarded to Neurexis Therapeutics to Evaluate Neuroprotective Therapeutic in Stroke Preclinical Assessment Network (SPAN)


A promising approach for preventing cognitive and behavioral impairment following ischemia

Aurora, CO -  Neurexis Therapeutics, Incorporated, announces it has been awarded $900,000 in funding from a Direct-to-Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant through the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health. The grant will enable late-stage preclinical study of the Company’s neuroprotective peptide tatCN19o by the Stroke Preclinical Assessment Network (SPAN), which was established to address a significant need in the scientific investigation of stroke treatment. The goal of SPAN is to screen and select highly promising treatment candidates for possible further study in human clinical trials. A total of five putative cerebroprotective interventions will be tested in SPAN. With this funding, Neurexis becomes one of only two small business companies that are members of the SPAN program.

Neurexis was formed in early 2020 based on the efforts of Dr. Ulli Bayer at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus to create an optimized neuroprotective drug called tatCN19o. In both small and large animal studies, the therapeutic prevents neuronal cell death and the associated cognitive and behavioral problems resulting from ischemia caused by stroke or cardiac arrest.

“Neurexis Therapeutics considers the reliability and reproducibility of preclinical data to be of the utmost importance in drug development. Thus, we are thrilled to be part of SPAN 2.0 for continued external validation of our lead therapeutic tatCN19o,” said Dr. Olivia Asfaha, Co-Principal Investigator on the grant. “This program will use high-powered, unbiased testing to conduct direct comparison studies of tatCN19o and other stroke interventions to help expand the very limited clinical toolbox available to physicians and patients for treatment of stroke. This is especially critical given the lack of an FDA-approved neuroprotective drug to address the devastating impacts that stroke can have on patients.”

The award is funded by NINDS of the NIH under grant number U44NS132339.

About Neurexis Therapeutics, Inc.
Stroke and cardiac arrest affect millions of patients each year. Although lifesaving, re-establishing blood flow to the brain does not address the substantial impact on quality of life and healthcare costs associated with the resulting neuronal death and cognitive impairment. At this time, there are no FDA-approved drugs for this indication, resulting in a tremendous unmet medical need for a product such as tatCN19o that significantly reduces brain damage from stroke. To learn more, visit