NuvOx also is conducting preclinical studies using its drugs to treat traumatic brain injury, heart attack, shock induced by heavy bleeding and a common complication of sickle cell disease.
The COVID-19 pandemic also has made fundraising more difficult for the privately held company, Unger said.
The company is now looking to raise a bridge round of $3 million and will need $15 million to $20 million to finish the next rounds of clinical trials, he said.
“I think in order to ink the deal, you have to meet in person, and just now it’s opening up,” said Evan Unger, who has often crisscrossed the country for investor presentations.
Microvascular Therapeutics, with Wyatt Unger as chief medical officer, is working to develop an improved version of Definity, an ultrasound contrast agent the elder Unger developed in the 1990s and sold to chemicals giant DuPont in 1999 for about $40 million.
Definity, launched in 2001 and approved for ultrasound imaging of the heart, has since changed hands but is still the most prescribed drug of its kind in the U.S.
In 2018, Microvascular Therapeutics won a $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop its initial drug, called MVT-100.
The company is conducting a Phase I clinical trial to gauge the new contrast agent’s safety and effectiveness when used for echocardiograms — ultrasound imaging of the heart — compared with Definity.