Our Story

Renovacor is developing a pipeline of innovative and proprietary AAV-based gene therapies for BAG3-associated diseases in areas of high unmet medical need.

Our lead program is a recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV)‑based gene therapy for patients suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) due to mutations in the Bcl2‑associated athanogene 3 (BAG3) gene. BAG3-associated DCM patients tend to be relatively young, with an average age of symptom onset of 38 years, and face a rapid worsening of the disease. Since there are currently no targeted therapies for BAG3-associated DCM patients, five-year survival rates are less than 50%.

Renovacor was founded in 2013 by Art Feldman, MD, PhD based on years of research in DCM.1 In 1983, as a resident at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr. Feldman cared for a young woman who had been transferred from the Hershey, Pennsylvania region due to the recent onset of severe symptoms of heart failure and echocardiographic evidence of a dilated cardiomyopathy. Sadly, the young woman passed away. The experience convinced Dr. Feldman to pursue a clinical and research career in heart failure. Twenty years later, while at Thomas Jefferson University, Dr. Feldman was asked to consult for a 54-year-old woman with dilated cardiomyopathy. Her history was remarkable because she had two children also with dilated cardiomyopathy—one of whom had recently undergone a heart transplant. Upon further examination, Dr. Feldman realized that the same young woman he had taken care of 20 years prior was this patient’s niece. The story of this family has been memorialized in the documentary, Nobody’s Perfect.

The subsequent discovery of BAG3-associated heart failure and the desire to treat other families with BAG3 mutations led Dr. Feldman and colleagues to found Renovacor. Since its founding in 2013, Renovacor has developed and expanded upon significant research and intellectual property covering the BAG3 gene and protein. Dr. Feldman was joined by Magdalene Cook, MD, who in 2018 became President and CEO of Renovacor, bringing both industry expertise and leadership experience to Renovacor. In addition, Renovacor has established a leading scientific advisory board which includes subject matter experts in cardiovascular disease and gene therapy. Renovacor believes its cardiac disease and gene therapy expertise, combined with its intellectual property, has positioned it to be a leader in the field of cardiac gene therapy.

  1. Temple University Disclosure Statement: Dr. Arthur Feldman is a founder and director of Renovacor and holds equity interest in Renovacor. Temple University has significant financial interests in the technology licensed to Renovacor. The financial interests are being managed in accordance with Temple University’s institutional policy.

Our People

Our Team

Magdalene Cook, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer
Wendy DiCicco
Interim Chief Financial Officer
Marc Semigran, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Matt Killeen, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Marcia Bologna
Senior R&D Advisor
Beth White, PhD
Chief Business Officer and Senior Vice President of Operations
Jiwen Zhang, PhD
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance
Valerie Myers, PhD
Senior Director, Preclinical Development
Jordan Shin, MD, PhD, FACC
Senior Vice President, Clinical Development and Translational Science
Kumar Dhanasekharan, PhD
Senior Vice President, Technical Operations

Board of Directors

Gbola Amusa, MD
Edward J Benz, Jr, MD
Magdalene Cook, MD
Gregory F. Covino
Jonas Grossman
Joan Lau, PhD
Thomas Needham, MBA

Scientific Advisors

Michael Bristow, MD, PhD
University of Colorado
Arthur Feldman, MD, PhD
Renovacor Founder & Chief Scientific Advisor
Temple University
Joseph Glorioso III, MD, PhD
University of Pittsburgh
Philip Johnson, MD
Interius Biotherapeutics
Douglas Mann, MD
Washington University in St. Louis
Dennis McNamara, MD
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center