This afternoon we published a new Quarterly Update on InVivo Therapeutics, an innovative biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Mass., that we have covered since December 2011. InVivo is developing multiple neurotrauma products based on its proprietary technologies, which are based on several decades of research at MIT’s Langer Lab. One of the Company's major advancements at present is the development of a medical device composed of a resorbable biopolymer (a biomaterial used extensively for tissue engineering) that is designed for implantation or injection into a damaged spinal cord after a trauma, where the device may hopefully repair injury and heal the patient before paralysis or other severe side effects of a spinal cord injury can set in. To InVivo’s knowledge, it was the first to successfully demonstrate functional improvement in non-human primates paralyzed after a spinal cord injury (SCI) model—100% of primates paralyzed with SCI and treated with InVivo’s biopolymer scaffold device in preclinical studies regained motor function and mobility within 12 weeks. The Company is now moving this technology into clinical development, with a pilot human study pending FDA review and approval.
- InVivo plans to submit additional applications to the FDA during 2012 related to a second product candidate, an injectable biocompatible hydrogel that offers controlled drug delivery over a period of months. The hydrogel platform is being developed to treat SCIs as well as pain from peripheral nerve injuries. InVivo commenced a preclinical study with Pennsylvania’s Geisinger Health System in the first quarter 2012 to evaluate the hydrogel for pain and, in June 2012, submitted a request for a meeting with applicable FDA drug and device agencies for this product.
- In preparation for clinical and commercial manufacturing, InVivo is ramping up its cGMP facility. In July 2012, the Company moved into a 21,000 ft2 headquarters and research center at One Kendall Square in Cambridge, Mass. This site consolidates InVivo’s operations and includes a vivarium and cGMP clean room, among other features.
- InVivo has recently appointed new individuals skilled in manufacturing, cell research, and business development, including former Stryker Spine executive Mr. Robert Housler Jr. as vice president of business development. Attesting to the caliber of InVivo’s staff, one of its neurosurgeons, Dr. Amer Khalil, was awarded a grant from the physician organization MDHonors in August 2012 to further InVivo’s research on applying hydrogels to SCIs.
- Following the close of an oversubscribed $20 million public offering in February 2012, InVivo held cash and cash equivalents of over $18 million as of June 30, 2012, versus nearly $4.4 million as of December 31, 2011.