Grant program up to $3.6 million over five years to develop new drug
EAGAN, MN – September 5, 2006 – Biothera, the immune health company, was recently awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Advanced Technology Grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a new drug to treat bone marrow injury from acute radiation exposure. This grant is for Phase I of a five-year $3.6 million program.
Biothera’s Imprime WGP™ may benefit the general population in the event of a nuclear accident or terrorist attack, as well as cancer patients undergoing bone-marrow damaging radiotherapy or chemotherapy. The drug candidate accelerates the regeneration of bone marrow stem cells responsible for producing white blood cells, platelets and red blood cells that are critical to preventing life-threatening infection, bleeding and anemia.
Based on data generated through the SBIR grant program, Biothera intends to file a new drug application with the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of myelosuppression. Approximately half of the 1.3 million patients receiving chemotherapy are at risk for myelosuppression that results in infection. This drug candidate is also targeted for development under Project Bioshield, a federal program designed to accelerate the availability of treatments to combat bioterrorism.
“Imprime WGP would be the first orally administered treatment for bone marrow damage and hematopoietic regeneration,” said Myra L. Patchen, Ph.D., Biothera executive vice president of pharmaceutical development. “This is significant because it could be self-administered without requiring hospital stays or trained medical personnel.”
“The SBIR grant is validation of our science and recognizes the efficacy of our compound,” said Daniel Conners, Biothera chairman. “There are numerous applications for Imprime WGP to provide both therapeutic treatment and prophylactic protection.”
The development program awarded SBIR funding is entitled, “Oral Beta-Glucan Treats Hematopoietic Injury Resulting From Acute Radiation Exposure.” The first year of the program will examine the hematopoietic regenerative effects in preclinical models as well as analyze dosages and the effectiveness of the compound in combination with other drugs.
About Biothera, the Immune Health Company
Biothera is a biotechnology company dedicated to improving immune health. The company's primary focus is developing pharmaceuticals that engage the immune system to fight cancer and that produce white blood cells following chemotherapy or radiation. In addition, Biothera manufactures and markets food-grade ingredients that support healthy immune function to the nutritional supplement, functional food, cosmetic and animal nutrition markets.
Biothera, the Immune Health Company