NormOxys appoints CEO, explores oxyrens

Founded in 2004, biotech start-up NormOxys is talking for the first time today about programs, plans and a new CEO. The company has appointed Martin Tolar as its chief. The former Yale professor was an executive at CoMentis and also worked in Pfizer's clinical development, strategic partnerships and business development divisions.

Tolar's company is exploring a new class of drugs, called oxyrens, that enhance the body's ability to deliver oxygen to diseased tissues in the body. The developer now has a portfolio of compounds in the preclinical stages of development. NormOxys hopes its candidates can get oxygen-bearing blood cells to distressed muscles. Its approach differs from other oxygen-based therapies, which run the risk of over-oxygenating blood and causing tissue damage. The company's lead drug candidate OXY111A was able to help mice increase their exercise capacity by 70 percent in preclinical studies.

NormOxys' first order of business will be to test OXY11A in healthy subjects in early 2010, with trials in congestive heart failure patients during the second or third quarter of the year. Additionally, the company is exploring potential cancer applications for oxyrens.

NormOxys also announced today that its new corporate headquarters is located in a 3,500 square-foot space in Wellesley, MA. It maintains R&D facilities in Medford, MA, and Strasbourg, France. Former GlaxoSmithKline CEO Jean-Pierre Garnier is NormOxys' chairman of the board. NormOxys has raised $15 million since its inception.

- here's NormOxys' release
- read the Xconomy article for more