Avexegen Therapeutics Inc., is an emerging privately held biotech company, announced that it has received a phase 2 award of $2.94 million under the National Institutes of Health's Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) for the development of an oral Neuregulin-4-based therapy for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
IBD affects over 3 million patients in the US and is almost equally manifested as Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis. Many IBD patients are not well controlled with currently available therapies. Avexegen, and its collaborators, have demonstrated that Neuregulin-4 (NRG-4), a naturally occurring peptide in human breast milk, acts via direct cell-protective, anti-inflammatory and restorative physiological modes of action to afford intestinal barrier protection and mucosal healing. "Avexegen will use the NIH funds to develop an orally efficacious, NRG-4-based drug product with localized action in the gut and a superior safety profile," said Dr. Soumitra Ghosh, the Principal Investigator in the SBIR grant. "We believe that an NRG-4-based drug product, with its compelling pharmacology, has the potential to be a standalone IBD treatment or an important complement to other treatment approaches to significantly improve disease remission and long-term outcomes," added Artin Asadourian, CEO of Avexegen Therapeutics.
Avexegen, a San Francisco, California-based emerging privately held biotech company focused on developing novel treatments for gastrointestinal disorders