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Bothell, WA, United States

Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 599.95K | Year: 2011

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Despite the success of TNF-inhibitors and other new biological drugs for the treatment of autoimmune and other chronic inflammatory diseases, there are still many patients that respond poorly. Suppressing NF-kB induction as treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases with a primary Th1-type cytokine profile (like e.g. Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes and others) is the goal of majority of treatments including TNF-inhibitors. Intracellularly-actingNF-kB activation-inhibitors, such as IkB-kinase inhibitor and NF-kB nuclear translocation inhibitor, are very effective in cultured cells. However, in vivo use of these agents against chronic inflammatory diseases is severely limited by their very short half-life in blood. Formulating these inhibitors into a nanocarrier can protect these inhibitors from enzyme degradation in the blood and rapid excretion by the kidney. In this application these two inhibitors will be formulated into nanocarriers. The nanocarriers are a Protected Graft Copolymer (PGC), in which a polymer backbone is grafted with: 1) polyethylene glycol (PEG) side chains, and 2) reversible binders of the peptide inhibitors. The inhibitors will bind to PGC and the PEG-side chains will protectthese inhibitors from enzyme degradation in the blood and rapid excretion by the kidney. Because of size (15-30nm), the complex will accumulate at site of inflammation and will release the inhibitors by an affinity based driven release, which is an equilibrium or dissociation constant (Kd) driven release. Because the inhibitors contain cell penetrating sequences, they will readily enter cells at site of inflammation, inhibit NF-kB activation, and thus suppress inflammatory diseases. Collagen induced arthritis, a mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis, will be treated in this particular application to show proof of concept. The acute and chronic toxicity of the formulations will also be evaluated in this proposed project. Our goal for this project is to developa product for the treatment for chronic inflammatory diseases that will lead to FDA approved treatment for humans. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Intracellularly-acting NF-kB activation inhibitors, such as IkB-kinase inhibitor and NF-kB nuclear translocation inhibitor, are very effective in cultured cells. However, in vivo use of these agents against chronic inflammatory diseases, although effective, is severely limited by their very short half-life in blood. In this project, these inhibitors will be formulated into nanocarriers that: 1) accumulates at sites of inflammation; 2) can protect these inhibitors from enzyme degradation in the blood; and 3) prevent rapid excretion by the kidney. The project will allow use of these agents in many human inflammatorydiseases.


The present invention relates to a soluble hydrophobic-core carrier composition comprising (i) a linear polymeric backbone; (ii) a plurality of hydrophilic polymeric protective chains covalently linked and pendant to the polymeric backbone and (iii) at least one hydrophobic moiety covalently linked and pendant to the polymeric backbone. In certain embodiments, the weight ratio of hydrophilic protective chains to hydrophobic moieties in the carrier is at least 15:1. In other embodiments, at least 90% of the residues of the polymeric backbone are coupled to a hydrophilic polymeric protective chain or a hydrophobic moiety. In other embodiments, the composition further comprises (iv) a hydrophobic load molecule dissociably linked to the hydrophobic moiety of the carrier.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 782.93K | Year: 2010

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This application pertains to the development of Medication for Hepatic Fibrosis. Established cirrhosis has a 10-year mortality of 34-66%, largely dependent on the cause of the cirrhosis; alcoholic cirrhosis has a worse prognosis than primary biliary cirrhosis and cirrhosis due to hepatitis. This application will be of interest to National institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Cirrhosis is long-term liver damage from the buildup of scar tissue (fibrosis) caused by infections, alcohol, excess fat, bile obstruction, and iron or cupper overload. Approximately 400,000 Americans suffer from liver cirrhosis. Cirrhosis affects millions of patients worldwide and remains an unresolved challenge for clinicians. Given the morbidity/mortality associated with this disease, there is an urgent need for translation of emerging anti-fibrotic molecules into effective therapies. Expediting clinical trials for compounds that have successfully undergone preclinical studies has the potential to make much needed medications available and reduce the need for liver transplantations. The scarring process in liver cirrhosis is mediated by Transforming Growth Factor 2 (TGF2) which is the most powerful fibrotic agent. Many known blockers of TGF2 are mostly peptides and proteins which cannot be easily developed onto drugs due to rapid degradation and kidney elimination once it reaches the blood stream. In this application, we propose to formulate three known TGF2 blocker peptides using advanced affinity-based nanocarrier technology. This will prevent rapid degradation and elimination and will maintain relatively constant concentration of active anti-fibrotic peptides in the blood, thus facilitating the transition of these peptide drugs from pre-clinical to clinical setting. We will synthesize nanocarriers appropriate for each of the anti-fibrotic peptides and we will determine affinity (1/Kd, where Kd is the dissociation constant) of the peptide for these nanocarriers. We will then formulate these peptides with appropriate nanocarriers and evaluate the in vivo pharmacokinetics in rats. Finally we will test the efficacy of formulated peptides in animal models of liver fibrosis. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Cirrhosis affects millions of patients worldwide and remains an unresolved challenge for clinicians. Cirrhosis is mediated by Transforming Growth Factor 2 (TGF2) and many known blockers of TGF2 action are peptides and proteins which cannot be easily developed onto drugs due to their rapid degradation and kidney elimination once they reach the blood stream. In this application, we propose to formulate known peptide blockers of TGF2 using advanced affinity-based nanocarrier technology that will prevent their rapid degradation and elimination and will maintain relatively constant concentration of anti-fibrotic peptides in the blood. This will facilitate the transition of these possible peptide drugs from pre-clinical to clinical settings.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 223.42K | Year: 2010

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Portal hypertension (increased pressure in the portal venous system) is one of the main consequences of cirrhosis. Although the reduction of portal hypertension is well documented to prevent the development of life-threatening consequences, including bleeding esophageal varices and hepatorenal syndrome (HRS), pharmacological treatment options are severely limited. The synthetic peptide drug terlipressin has been used in Europe for the past twenty years as one of the safest, most cost-effective and economical drugs to reduce portal hypertension and treat bleeding varices and hepatorenal syndrome. However, its short half life necessitates its administration by IV 4-6x daily, limiting its application to the acute care setting. Our long term goal, in collaboration with our commercialization partner LAT-Pharma LLC, is to develop a long-acting formulation of terlipressin that can be ideally administered by sub-Q injection allowing for once daily administration for the management of portal-hypertension. The aims of the Phase I project are directed toward demonstrating that formulation of terlipressin with our proprietary nanocarrier affords an increase in half-life and a sustained release of the active agent with a prolonged pharmacological effect in vivo compatible with once-daily dosing. Terlipressin is currently not approved in the US and the envisioned drug candidate would have a significant market opportunity both in the acute care setting for life-threatening consequences of portal hypertension, and in the outpatient setting for the prophylactic treatment of portal hypertension. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The envisioned drug candidate is expected to be the first agent available that will allow cirrhotic patients and their physicians reduce portal hypertension in the outpatient setting, thereby avoiding emergency treatment of life-threatening bleeding variceal ruptures and Hepatorenal syndrome.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 225.00K | Year: 2014

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Female sexual arousal disorder (FSAD), one of the conditions commonly described as Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is common among older women and can be a significant reason for decreased quality of life in the aging population. FSAD is defined as the persistent or recurring inability to attain or maintain sufficient sexual excitement, causing personal distress. Disorders of arousal often include insufficient vaginal lubrication, decreased clitoral and labial sensation,decreased clitoral and labial engorgement and/or lack of vaginal smooth muscle relaxation. Often, physiological causes like previous pelvic trauma, pelvic surgery, decreased vaginal or clitoral blood flow (e.g. due to cardiovascular problems) or the sideeffects of certain medications, for example selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, play an important role in the etiology of the condition. Vasoactive intestinal peptide s an important neurotransmitter in the female genitalia with smooth muscle rela

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