NuvOx Pharma, a clinical stage biotechnology company based in Tucson, Arizona, has received a Phase I SBIR grant for $150,000 from the National Institutes of Health, specifically the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NINDS). This grant will fund development of a novel syringe sonication device that may allow quick preparation of an investigational drug for oxygen delivery.
The drug, NVX-208, is injected intravenously then travels through the bloodstream arriving first at the lungs to pick up oxygen and finally to hypoxic tissue where it delivers the oxygen. NVX-208 is more than half way through a Phase Ib/II clinical trial in patients with acute ischemic stroke. Animal studies in stroke have shown an 85% reduction in brain damage with NVX-208, and the drug has also shown efficacy in multiple animal models of traumatic brain injury and hemorrhagic shock. The drug currently has a shelf life of about 2 years under refrigerated storage, but this new invention may enable storage under a greater range of conditions.
Evan Unger, MD, President and CEO of NuvOx Pharma, said “Scientists at NuvOx discovered that application of ultrasound energy to pre-filled syringes with NVX-208 may be used to maintain the particle size within specification even under potentially extreme conditions. Successful completion of the project funded by NINDS could lead to development of a syringe enabling administration of the product for field based applications. Since earlier treatment could lead to better outcomes, administration of the drug in the pre-hospital setting or the battlefield could potentially improve outcomes in stroke, traumatic brain injury and blood loss.” NuvOx has filed a patent application for the syringe sonication device.
Kyle Morrison, President of Sonic Concepts, a company specializing in ultrasound technology, based in Bothell, Washington, added, “We are pleased to work with NuvOx on this project. Their drug has shown great promise to treat life-threatening acute conditions. Successful completion of this project should ultimately enable even earlier treatment in the field.”
NuvOx is a privately held company with clinical programs in brain cancer, stroke and sickle cell disease.
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