DURHAM, N.C., Nov. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Symberix, a leader in the discovery of drugs that selectively target the human microbiome, announced today that it has been awarded two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These grants will fund the research of new drugs that safely and selectively inhibit a bacterial enzyme responsible for a number of dose-limiting gastrointestinal (GI) side effects of certain pain and cancer medications.
"Symberix has developed a new paradigm of microbiome-targeted drug discovery," said Matthew Redinbo, PhD., Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Symberix, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. "Our research has demonstrated that a disease-causing component of microbiome function can be pharmacologically controlled without harming the population of beneficial bacteria. Our core technology enables identification of microbial targets that reduce drug toxicities and improve human health."
"These grants underscore our leadership in selectively targeting the gut microbiome to discover a new class of therapeutic adjuncts to address unmet medical needs associated with severe side effects of a number of important and frequently used medications," said Ward Peterson, PhD., Founder, President and CEO of Symberix. "Our goal is to use this non-dilutive funding to accelerate progress in our lead programs with the intent to file IND applications with the FDA as expeditiously as possible."
Symberix has two initial programs in lead optimization for non-antibiotic, small molecules to address chemotherapy-induced diarrhea associated with the chemotherapeutic drug irinotecan, and lower GI toxicities caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
The NIH grants will support this research, funding Investigational New Drug (IND)-enabling preclinical development. One grant was awarded by the NIH, National Cancer Institute, for research on improving chemotherapy outcomes with proprietary molecules targeting the human microbiome. The second grant was award by the NIH, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, for research on microbiome targeted drugs to improve non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) outcomes. The combined awards total approximately $500,000 of funding over 18 months.
About Symberix, Inc.
Symberix, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on the development of first-to-market drugs that selectively target the human microbiome. Intestinal bacteria play critical roles in digestion, metabolism, tissue repair, immune development, vitamin synthesis and many other key functions. The initial focus of Symberix is the development of two novel drugs that selectively inhibit a bacterial enzyme responsible for clinically serious side effects of certain pain and cancer medications. In the United States, more than $2 billion is spent annually to treat adverse drug reactions originating in the lower gastrointestinal tract from chemotherapeutic agents and NSAIDs. For more information, visit www.symberix.com.
SOURCE Symberix, Inc.