REX Health Ventures co-leads $4.5M financing for Raleigh startup focusing on acute kidney injury treatment

View the original article at Rediscovery Life Sciences, a startup focusing on potential treatments for acute kidney injuries, has landed $4.5 million in new financing. Co-leading the round is REX Health Ventures, the investment arm of UNC REX Healthcare. The funding was announced Wednesday morning. The other co-leader of the round is Orlando Health Ventures. AKI is a common, serious and often life-threatening complication in hospitalized patients and involves a sudden loss of kidney function, RLS explains. As part of the deal, Anita Watkins, JD, Director of REX Health Ventures, and Dr. Sunil Desai, President of the Orlando Health Medical Group, join the RLS board. Richard Shea is the firm’s CEO. RLS will use the funding to launch a Phase 2 clinical trial of suramin as a potential “treatment of diuretic resistant AKI,” the company said. Suramin “is currently approved outside of the United States as a tropical disease treatment,” RLS adds. “At UNC REX Healthcare, we see firsthand the enormous challenge posed by AKI in critically ill patients,” Watkins said in the funding announcement. “We are excited about suramin’s potential to stop the progression of AKI and improve outcomes in this highly vulnerable patient population. I am looking forward to working with the RLS team to advance the development of this important product.” RLS has a license from The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) to develop suramin in AKI.