NIH Awards Grant to Avexegen to Advance IBD Investigational Therapy

NIH Awards Grant to Avexegen to Advance IBD Investigational Therapy
Avexegen Therapeutics has been awarded a $225,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to advance the clinical development of NRG-4 (Neuregulin-4), the company’s lead investigational drug candidate for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The grant, awarded under the NIH’s Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR), will be used to explore different routes of delivery for NGR-4, a drug the company believes could be the first therapy to directly heal damaged and inflamed gut tissue in IBD patients. NGR-4 is a naturally occurring peptide present in gastrointestinal (GI) tissue as well as human breast milk. In preclinical proof-of-concept studies of IBD models, the drug demonstrated significant restorative effects of the gut tissue. These studies determined NGR-4 was able to simultaneously suppress pro-inflammatory cytokines while driving the healing process of damaged and inflamed epithelial tissue. “We believe that NRG-4, with its unique dual mode of action, has the potential to be a first-in-class therapy that may further improve patient care and long-term outcomes,” Artin Asadourian, CEO of Avexegen Therapeutics, said in a recent press release. According to estimates from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 1 million to 1.3 million people in the U.S. have IBD. In people with IBD, the immune system mistakes food, bacteria, and other materials in the inte
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