Revolutionizing Healthcare – ReAlta Life Sciences Thrives as a Leading Tech Entrepreneur in Norfolk.

ReAlta Life Sciences - parents swinging child in the air between them

ReAlta Life Sciences, located in the Norfolk Innovation Corridor (NIC) has received FDA clearance for a Phase 2 Trial of RLS-0071 in patients with Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (AE-COPD). ReAlta is a bio-tech firm that is focused on treating life threatening acute inflammatory and rare diseases through its proprietary therapeutic platform that harnesses the power of the immune system. RLS-0071 is the company’s dual-targeting anti-inflammatory peptide that has received widespread scientific review and support.

AE-COPD describes the sudden worsening of airway function and respiratory symptoms during Intermittent flares of COPD disease, characterized by increased cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, and fatigue. According to the American Thoracic Society, the average patient with COPD experiences two such episodes annually leading to repeated hospitalizations, irreversible lung damage, and an increased risk of death.

“With current treatment options limited and poorly matched to the disease process, we believe RLS-0071 has the potential to fill this unmet need given its dual-targeting and rapid mechanism of action,” said ReAlta Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Thienel, MD, PhD. “This FDA clearance marks an important new milestone for ReAlta as we explore the potential of RLS-0071 across multiple therapeutic areas.”

ReAlta was originally formed to develop and commercialize promising research work conducted under a joint venture between Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, Eriko Life Science Ventures, and Eastern Virginia Medical School. The firm initially focused on treating hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a severe birth complication affecting newborns suffering from oxygen deprivation to the brain. The innovative biopharmaceutical company is working to develop a therapy to change the long-term outcome of these individuals’ lives, and RLS-0071 has been granted Orphan Drug Designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency for the treatment of HIE. A Phase 2 trial of RLS-0071 in newborns with HIE was started earlier in 2023 and is actively enrolling patients.

From its state-of-the-art, 11,000 sq. ft headquarters in Norfolk’s innovation district, ReAlta benefits from the shared information and research of NIC anchor medical institutions including Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, Eastern Virginia Medical School and the Children’s Specialty Group, as well as Old Dominion University . ReAlta’s location within the NIC has fostered the exchange and engagement of ideas and resources between like-minded organizations in Norfolk’s technology zone that are dedicated to pursuing innovation in healthcare to serve the Norfolk community as well as the greater healthcare industry.

“We are proud to call Norfolk home and have remained here to develop and commercialize this exciting new drug platform addressing life-threatening diseases through harnessing the power of the immune system,” Thienel said at the company’s 2020 grand opening.

The Norfolk Innovation Corridor is honored to have ReAlta located here and contributing to the mission to better society through innovation, technology, and shared resources as we seek to support the region’s resilience products, services and technologies. ReAlta’s research into rare diseases, and their dedication to developing innovative solutions for patients, aligns perfectly with NIC’s goals of attracting technology companies that bring cutting-edge research and real-world applications to Norfolk’s technology zone.

The Norfolk Innovation Corridor already benefits from a dense cluster of advanced technologies, research and innovation centers, and with ongoing research from ReAlta and others continuing to capture national attention, businesses located in our innovation district will continue to enjoy new opportunities to raise capital, gain access to grants, and attract a highly talented and diverse workforce.

We congratulate ReAlta Life Sciences on the recent FDA clearance for AE-COPD as well as its Phase 2 trials in HIE and Acute Graft-vs-Host Disease, and we look forward to ongoing innovations and success with this pioneering organization.

For more information on Norfolk’s innovation district and joining the mission to build a thriving technology zone in Hampton Roads that supports resilience products, services, and technologies, visit us at