|Encore Pharmaceuticals Inc., a California-based biotechnology company, has received a $750,000 Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the National Institute on Aging. The grant award will support continued collaborative research and development in the field of neuroinflammation between EncorePharma researchers and Drs. Kenneth Hensley and Robert Floyd, scientists at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.|
The Phase 2 award will fund early pharmaceutical development activities with a lead drug candidate for use in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease) and Huntington’s disease. The molecule was identified in a previous collaboration between OMRF and EncorePharma under an SBIR Phase 1 award.
“A targeted, high-quality biochemical approach was the centerpiece of our early research and SBIR Phase 1 collaboration with EncorePharma,” said Floyd, who heads OMRF’s Free Radical Biology and Aging Research Program. “With the SBIR 2 award, our first lead candidates from this approach can be evaluated as potential new therapies for age-associated decline in neurologic and cardiovascular function.”
This new award will also support Drs. Hensley and Floyd’s ongoing efforts to identify natural products and natural-product-derived small molecules for use in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
“This award further validates the research work that has been conducted over the last 18 months and was partially supported by an SBIR Phase 1 grant,” said Dr. Barbara Loughman, president of EncorePharma. “We will now move quickly into the first stages of pre-clinical development with our first lead therapeutic candidate in this area.
Chartered in 1946, OMRF (www.omrf.org) is a nonprofit biomedical research institute dedicated to understanding and curing human disease. Its scientists focus on such critical research areas as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, lupus and cardiovascular disease. OMRF is home to Oklahoma’s only member of the National Academy of Sciences.