NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Jan. 31, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Drug discovery and development company Snowdon Inc., a Foundation Venture Capital Group portfolio company, has been issued two new patents to treat neuropathic pain and to expand its molecular search software tools.
The Glutamate Receptor Modulators and Therapeutics Agents patent (US #8614205) identifies a novel family of metabotropic glutamate receptor modulators as potential therapeutic agents for pain, neurological disorders and psychiatric illnesses.
According to company founder Dr. William Welsh, the Norman H. Edelman Professor in Bioinformatics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the Glutamate patent enables the use of simple molecules to treat neuropathic pain that arises from common medical conditions including diabetes, shingles, cancer, fibromyalgia, lower back pain and HIV/AIDS.
"Traditional pain medications are generally ineffective for treating neuropathic pain. We are hopeful the new treatments addressed in the patent can offer the hope of relief for millions of Americans suffering from this type of chronic pain," explained Dr. George F. Heinrich, vice chair and CEO of Foundation Venture Capital Group.
Snowdon's second patent (US #8200439) accelerates the discovery of new bioactive molecules, expanding the scope of a patent that Snowdon received in 2012.
"Our new fragment-based Shape Signatures software tool quickly and efficiently finds new molecules by searching our vast chemical libraries of more than 15 million entries," explained Dr. Welsh.
He says the fragment-based Shape Signatures approach works like a Lego toy that builds an assortment of objects by assembling interconnecting parts. The fragment-based approach assembles smaller molecular fragments into novel, intact molecules that possess the desired biological activities.
Previously, Snowdon has advanced computer-guided drug discovery through collaboration with external partners such as the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration and private sector companies.
"Snowdon provides a unique solution to the problems of efficiency and productivity in drug discovery by integrating advanced tools with proprietary information technology to efficiently discover new drugs," noted James M. Golubieski, president of Foundation Venture Capital Group. "This battery of proprietary computational tools can rapidly identify high-value molecules that can be used for initial biological proof of concept evaluation studies."
An article that features the company's novel Fragment-Based Shape Signatures tool was recently published in the December 2013 issue of the Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design (http://goo.gl/0E2NNX).
About Foundation Venture Capital Group
Foundation Venture Capital Group, LLC, (www.foundationventure.com) invests in life science start-up companies in New Jersey that want to move their products and ideas to commercialization. In addition to Snowdon, FVCG portfolio companies currently include:
- Actinobac Biomed Inc., developing a therapeutic agent targeting blood cells for the treatment of hematological malignancies such as leukemia and lymphomas;
- Affineti Biologics, Inc., advancing research in the development of therapeutic and diagnostic products based on new discoveries in oral biology and dental medicine;
- CellXplore, Inc., engaged in the development of biomarker-based in vitro diagnostic assays for cancer;
- Celvive, Inc., working to develop technology to treat patients with chronic spinal cord injuries with their own adult stem cells;
- Durin Technologies, working to develop a blood test to diagnose Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases;
- GeneAssess, Inc., developing a diagnostic tool for more accurate breast cancer staging;
- Longevica Pharmaceuticals, Inc., developing a chemoprotective agent that may keep normal cells healthy during cancer treatments (FVCG's equity interest in Longevica was sold to Rostock International, LTD, a subsidiary of a Moscow (Russia) based global investment firm);
- MentiNova, Inc., working to reduce side effects of L-Dopa Induced Dyskinesia
- NovoPedics, Inc., developing an implantable meniscus replacement/regeneration medical device to restore mobility to patients suffering from severe meniscus knee injuries
SOURCE Foundation Venture Capital Group