Synedgen will use a $259,000 Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) grant to advance work on potential treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Specifically, the funds will enable completion of preclinical studies into formulations of Synedgen’s proprietary glycopolymer therapeutics. Aimed at reducing gastrointestinal (GI) inflammation and other damage associated with IBD, the treatments and their effectiveness are being studied in an animal model of ulcerative colitis (UC), a form of IBD.
“This award enables Synedgen to further expand its growing portfolio of glycopolymer therapeutics designed to treat damage to, and inflammatory conditions of, mucosal surfaces like the GI tract,” said Shenda Baker, Synedgen president and CEO, in a press release.
“Our surface-active glycopolymers have broad mechanisms of action and have been shown to reduce inflammation and tissue damage in animal models of IBD and radiation injury,” Baker said. “The studies planned under this award are designed to optimize the drug molecular structure and dosing prior to clinical development.”
Synedgen has produced multiple derivatives of its high molecular-weight treatments aiming to promote GI tract healing. In addition to reducing local and systemic inflammation, the orally delivered therapeutics have shown an ability to lessen cellular death and enhance tissue regeneration related to chemical, physical, and radiation-induced damage to the large and small intestine.
In healthy guts, the GI microenvironment is self-regulating. The intestine permits nutrients to pass through while impeding migration throughout the body of prospectively destructive substances and bacteria. In IBD patients, problems with the mucosal barrier allows both beneficial and potentially harmful microbes to enter through the intestinal cellular wall and into circulation, often causing serious systemic complications.
“Synedgen optimizes glycopolymers to address complex targets at these protective surfaces to repair and restore the body’s natural defenses, and direct therapeutic activity at the source of the disease,” the company states on its website. “We have identified the chemical properties required to rationally design and ultra purify glycopolymers to make the drugs soluble, active and targeted in the human body.”
The company’s GI portfolio includes SYGN313 for both acute and chronic inflammation of the GI tract (such as IBD), and SYGN309 for GI infection. Its lead therapy candidate — SYGN305 — is for GI mucositis, inflammatory lesions of the GI tract caused by high-dose cancer therapies.
Under the purview of the U.S. Department of Defense, the CDMRP funds novel approaches to biomedical research. CDMRP grants are administered through the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity.