Lpath, Inc. (NASDAQ: LPTN), the industry leader in lipidomics-based therapeutics, announced receipt of a Notice of Grant Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This $145,000 Phase 1 SBIR grant will support the study of Lpath's therapeutic monoclonal antibody, Lpathomab™, in animal models of diabetic neuropathic pain and diabetic neuropathy.
Lpathomab functions like a 'molecular sponge' that binds to and neutralizes the bioactive lipid signaling molecule, lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). In this way, the LPA receptors associated with the transmission of pain through the nervous system are silenced. Lpathomab was discovered using Lpath's proprietary ImmuneY2™ drug-discovery technology.
In collaboration with researchers at the University of California, San Diego, Lpath has already generated strong, reproducible data in an accepted animal model in which significant pain relief was observed in diabetic rats after Lpathomab treatment.
The Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DIABETES AND DIGESTIVE AND KIDNEY DISEASES granted this award (1R43DK098829-01), which will provide Phase 1 funding to conduct in vivo studies of diabetic neuropathy in diabetic rats that will be treated with Lpathomab. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is the most common long-term complication of diabetes mellitus and affects about 50% of patients with either type-1 or type-2 diabetes. Patients with DPN often experience debilitating pain symptoms that affect day-to-day functioning and quality of life. Many patients with DPN-related pain do not respond adequately to any treatment option currently available, signifying a strong unmet need to develop new, more efficacious drugs.
"We are pleased the NIH has recognized the value of Lpath's innovative approach of neutralizing LPA to treat diabetic neuropathic pain," stated Dr. Rosalia Matteo, associate director at Lpath and the principal investigator on the grant. "With NIH support, we plan to continue generating compelling data and advancing Lpathomab, a compound that could potentially fill the tremendous void that exists in the neuropathic pain market."