NIH awards grant to MetaPhore Pharmaceuticals to study novel pain treatments

Greater than 5 million Americans with pain unresponsive to current treatments

St. Louis, MO, September 18, 2000 - The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a six-month $290,000 Small Business and Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to MetaPhore Pharmaceuticals to study potential new treatments for managing both acute and chronic pain.

The grant will allow St. Louis-based MetaPhore to proceed with studies on pain using the company's patented metal-based compounds. The compounds mimic the body's primary defense mechanism against oxidative damage from the free radicals derived from oxygen known as superoxide. That defense mechanism in its natural state is a family of enzymes called superoxide dismutase (SOD).

The research will study the role of free radicals in pain and develop the SOD mimetics as potential drugs for pain relief, either administered alone or along with other drugs. Previous studies have shown that the SOD mimetics are effective in reproducing the natural enzyme's ability to reduce free radical formation, which has been linked to a number of diseases and conditions, including pain and inflammation.

"There is a tremendous need for new, non-opiate drugs for pain management, for the millions of patients whose pain is unresponsive to current treatment or who suffer from the known side effects of current pain medications," said Dr. Daniela Salvemini MetaPhore's Director of Biology and the Principal Investigator for the SBIR grant. "Extensive preliminary data and in vivo research indicates that SOD mimics hold excellent potential for development in these areas."

Pain is a growing health problem that affects a third of all Americans. Approximately 10 percent of the American population have pain that does not respond well to current therapies. These patients include those with acute, inflammatory and especially neuropathic pain which is generated by causes such as diabetes, AIDS, trauma and cancer chemoth

Contact: Emily Ross
Kupper Parker Communications

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