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Back To Vidyya Obesity Drug Developer Gets Help From The NIH

Nobex Corporation Has Been Awarded Two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grants To Develop Drugs For Severe Pain And Obesity

Nobex Corporation, formerly Protein Delivery, has announced that the Company has been awarded two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants of $100,000 each from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grants will accelerate the development of two different Nobex drug candidates, one for the alleviation of severe pain and the second for the treatment of obesity.

"These SBIR grants add timely resources making it possible for Nobex to broaden the application of our proprietary medicinal chemistry for drug delivery into two new therapeutic areas, pain and obesity," said Christopher H. Price, Ph.D., President and CEO of Nobex. "The grants also provide further scientific validation, through the peer review process, of our technology and its applicability across several therapeutic areas and classes of drug compounds."

The first grant is for research into the "Transport of Opioid Peptide Analgesics Into the Brain," and was awarded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Nobex was awarded its first SBIR grant in July 2000 for the application of the Company's medicinal chemistry technology to enable the delivery of peptide drugs across the blood brain barrier (BBB), the protective barrier of the brain that prevents many drugs from entering the brain for therapeutic effect. The research under this grant will focus on the synthesis of modified, opiate-like peptides to enable them to cross the BBB. Currently marketed, powerful analgesics such as morphine enter the brain but can have serious limitations due first to rising patient tolerance, requiring ever-increasing doses, and second, to side effects such as depression of respiration and risk of addiction. Opioid peptides, such as the "endorphins" that Nobex will be using are involved in the natural pain reducing systems within the brains of humans. Mimics of such naturally occurring peptides, altered with Nobex technology for BBB transport, may not have the limitations of the morphine drugs.

The second grant, awarded for "Oral Delivery of Endogenous Appetite-Suppressing Peptide," by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases will support work on the chemistry and pharmacology of a natural protein involved in the control of appetite The second grant could lead to the development of a natural protein involved in the control of appetite that could be used to treat obesity. Nobex will work in collaboration with one of the researcher who discovered the protein, Rodger Liddle, M.D., Chief of Gastroenterology at Duke University Medical Center. Nobex technology will be used to modify the protein to develop an oral dosing form.


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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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