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
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
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.