NeRRe is developing orvepitant, a neurokinin(NK)-1 receptor antagonist, as a first in class, once daily breakthrough treatment for cough hypersensitivity disorders. Having demonstrated proof of efficacy in patients with refractory or unexplained cough, NeRRe will now continue development in chronic cough caused by the rare and terminal lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). A dominant feature of this severe progressive respiratory disease in a high proportion of patients is an uncontrolled and persistent cough which is disabling for these terminally ill patients. The cough is often refractory to medical therapy and there are no approved treatments for it. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis has been designated an orphan disease in both Europe and the USA.
NeRRe Therapeutics is led by CEO Mary Kerr and an experienced management team who recently sold a sister NK antagonist company KaNDy Therapeutics to Bayer for $425m up front and a total potential deal value in excess of $1b (Bayer to acquire UK-based biotech KaNDy Therapeutics Ltd). This team is committed to unlocking the significant potential of orvepitant in IPF cough. NeRRe is backed by international life sciences investors: Advent Life Sciences, Fountain Healthcare Partners, Forbion Capital Partners and OrbiMed, all of whom took part in a £23m Series B fundraising in 2017. The company was founded in 2012 as a spin out from GSK, which transferred its NK antagonist portfolio, and all associated intellectual property to NeRRe. The company has since generated exciting new preclinical and clinical data to support the progression of its lead clinical asset orvepitant and created further value with novel intellectual property.