Novoron Bioscience, Inc.

Reversing paralysis via neural regeneration.


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Paralysis from damage to the brain and spinal cord takes a tremendous toll on patients both in terms of quality of life as well as health care costs. Reversing the devastating consequences requires restoration of the neuronal circuitry disrupted by damage and/or disease.

According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, approximately 1.7 percent of the population of the United States suffers from some degree of paralysis. That equates to roughly 5.5 million people with difficulty or inability to move their upper and/or lower extremities. About 80% of all paralysis is caused by just three conditions: spinal cord injury (SCI), multiple sclerosis (MS), and stroke.

  Christopher Reeve, the iconic actor that defined the role of Superman for decades, was paralyzed from the neck down after a horse riding accident.

Novoron Bioscience is developing therapeutics to address the fundamental cause of irreversible paralysis: the failure of nerve tissue of the brain and spinal cord to regenerate after damage. Our team is developing the first ever therapies capable of restoring the regenerative capacity of these nerves.

For centuries, it was believed that nerves in the central nervous system (CNS), which consists of the brain and spinal cord, lacked the capacity for regeneration. In the last 30+ years research has proven that these nerves actually possess a robust capacity to regenerate. Unfortunately, this ability is blocked in the brain and spinal cord by inhibitory molecules unique to the CNS environment. As such, overcoming these inhibitory challenges can restore the ability of CNS nerves to regenerate.

While paralysis is the most prevalent, expensive and notable consequence of CNS nerve damage, the consequences of these events extend beyond simple loss of motor function. While these other symptoms may vary, reversal of these issues requires the same restoration of neuronal circuitry required to reverese paralysis. In the US alone, cumulative annual healthcare costs to address the culmulative consequences of neurotrauma and neurodegenerative conditions are estimated at a staggering $750 billion.

While reversing paralysis is the fundamental goal of Novoron's technology, our ability to restore the regenerative capacity of neural tissue has potential to reverse the multitude of symptoms that result from neuroregenerative failure.

Restoring the regenerative capacity of these neural cells represents the fundamental unmet need in reversing the devastating consequences of CNS damage.

Novoron’s novel approach to overcoming this problem is based on our groundbreaking discovery of a receptor that mediates the signaling from these inhibitory molecules and leads to failed regeneration of nerve tissue. Novoron has developed a pipeline of biologic drugs that block this central factor, thus restoring the regenerative capacity of neural cells.

NOVO-117 – our lead molecule – is a biologic antagonist capable of blocking the signals that prevent regeneration of neural tissue, thereby allowing the body’s natural regenerative capacity to regrow neurons in the CNS and reverse paralysis.

Novoron’s revolutionary approach to the regeneration of neural tissue has already gained recognition for its potential across a variety of conditions. Novoron has received three independent federal grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the regenerative capacity in the three major causes of paralysis: stroke, spinal cord injury, and MS. Additionally, Novoron has been sponsored by the NIH’s National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) to present our regenerative therapies at a variety of scientific conferences. 

Our team has already made significant headway in our goal to accelerate our lead molecule toward FDA approval. Here’s a look at our biggest accomplishments so far:

Product Development & Efficacy
While our therapeutic platform has a variety of potential applications, our team is currently focused on development of NOVO-117 for SCI and MS applications. We’ve demonstrated in vivo efficacy in SCI and proof-of-principle of our scientific model in MS.

Material Transfer Agreements Secured
Novoron has negotiated a collaborative work plan with a major pharmaceutical company and finalized a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) to perform this work. The goal of this partnership is to test NOVO-117  in the company’s proprietary systems that represent industrial gold standard of validation. This is the first step toward the necessary partnership with a large pharma company that will lead to strategic co-development, out-license, or acquisition. In parallel, we are also negotiating MTAs with other large pharma/biotech companies.

An Expansive Patent & IP Portfolio
Our IP portfolio includes both in-licensed and internally developed patent applications. We’re currently advised on patent strategy by Mintz Levin, an international law firm with a strong track record in the biotech space.

Key Partnerships


Dr. Travis Stiles' discovery published in Journal of Cell Science.

Novoron Bioscience founded.

NIH grants received to develop SCI and stroke therapeutics.

Novoron named 2015 Cool Company by San Diego Venture Group. 

NIH grant received to develop MS therapeutic.

Our City San Diego top 25 innovative life science company.

Neurotech Investor Conference, featured in the Emerging Company Showcase.

Xconomy identifies Novoron as a life sciences startup to watch. 

Dr. Travis Stiles receives 2016 Catalyst Award from Biocom.

Novoron finishes 3rd in RESI Innovation Challenge in Boston.

Neurotech 2017, Dr. Stiles invited to present “New Strategies in Multiple Sclerosis.”

Dr. Stiles to be featured by Johnson & Johnson in their on-line series, “Up and Coming Scientists” in the pharma/biotech industry.

Dr. Stiles has exclusively studied the mechanisms underlying regenerative failure in the central nervous system for nearly a decade. He completed his PhD in the Biomedical Sciences Program at the University of California, San Diego and is the principal researcher responsible for Novoron’s R&D pipeline. Dr. Stiles has been the recipient of several awards and invited speakerships and recently accepted a 4-year Federal Advisory Committee appointment the Scientific Merit Review Board subcommittee for Regenerative Medicine in the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

Dr. Callaway is an experienced biotech executive and former CEO of ArmaGen and CEBIX who has led efforts in transitioning research companies to clinical stage operating entities. His experience with biological therapeutics is highlighted by his work in Tysabri, which was one of the first biologics for CNS disease and is still widely used for treatment of MS. His experience as both a researcher and corporate executive make him an invaluable addition to the Novoron team.

Dr. Bright completed his PhD in the Biomedical Sciences Program at UCSD and earned his AB from Princeton University. He has over 10 years of biomedical research, lab operations, and project management experience. Dr. Bright’s passion lies in the translation of exciting academic science into clinically-viable commercial applications. As a co-founder of Novoron, he has applied this passion and academic and industry experience to advancing Dr. Stiles’ discoveries and into the company’s technology pipeline.

Mr. Gahr has over a decade of experience in financial analysis, business development, and project management with high-profile start-up companies, such as Apptio and Imperium Renewables. Shawn earned an M.P.I.A. in International Economics from UCSD, a B.S. in Business-Economics from Willamette University and holds a Certificate in Biomedical Regulatory Affairs from the University of Washington.

Novoron is raising money to translate our exciting, groundbreaking technology into a viable human drug. We will continue to develop relationships with collaborators and other large pharma and biotech companies to help catalyze this work.

For further details on the strategic plan and timeline of Novoron’s generation of the first treatments to reverse the effects of paralysis, make sure to request access to the Business Plan tab of the profile and find out how you can get involved!

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