Knopp Biosciences NIH-funded Pain Program Advances to Third Year of HEAL Award to Discover Non-Opioid Treatments for Chronic Pain
PITTSBURGH, PA, OCTOBER 20, 2021—Knopp Biosciences LLC today announced that it was awarded a third year of research funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to advance the development of its novel non-opioid therapies for the treatment of chronic pain. The project is funded by the NIH Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative (NIH HEAL Initiative), which aims to improve treatments for chronic pain, curb the rates of opioid use disorder and overdose, and achieve long-term recovery from opioid addiction.
Knopp has developed a discovery platform of proprietary molecules directed to a non-opioid biological target linked to chronic pain caused by damage to nerves. The drug target is a cellular membrane potassium channel called Kv7.2/7.3, which regulates the flow of ions required to modulate the excitability of cells. Growing scientific evidence suggests that selectively activating key Kv7 channel subtypes can control nerve-cell hyperexcitability associated with transmission of chronic pain.
“Receiving this next phase of HEAL funding, based on promising results in preclinical models of chronic and neuropathic pain, positions Knopp to advance our lead drug candidate into IND-enabling studies,” said Michael Bozik, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Knopp. “We are excited to make continuing progress in this important initiative addressing an immense and persistent public-health challenge.”
Year three funding of $2.2 million is part of as much as $8 million in support contingent upon the attainment of milestones over five years. Knopp’s HEAL award was highly competitive and one of 375 grants made across 41 states in fiscal year 2019 to apply scientific solutions to help reverse the national opioid crisis.
Knopp’s Kv7 research is supported in part under Award Number U44NS093160 and Award Number U44NS115732 of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the NIH. The content of this announcement is solely the responsibility of Knopp and does not necessarily represent the views of the NIH.
ABOUT KNOPP BIOSCIENCES LLC
Knopp Biosciences is a privately held drug discovery and development company focused on delivering breakthrough treatments for immunological and neurological diseases of high unmet need. Knopp’s clinical-stage oral small molecule, dexpramipexole, is in Phase 2 clinical trials in moderate-to-severe eosinophilic asthma. Knopp’s preclinical Kv7 platform is directed to small molecule treatments for developmental and epileptic encephalopathies, other rare epilepsies, neuropathic pain, and smooth muscle disorders. Please visit www.knoppbio.com.
ABOUT THE NIH HEAL INITIATIVE
The Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM Initiative, or NIH HEAL InitiativeSM, is an aggressive, trans-NIH effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis. Launched in April 2018, the initiative is focused on improving prevention and treatment strategies for opioid misuse and addiction, and enhancing pain management. For more information, visit: https://heal.nih.gov.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements,” including statements relating to planned regulatory filings and clinical development programs. All forward-looking statements are based on management’s current assumptions and expectations and involve risks, uncertainties and other important factors, specifically including the uncertainties inherent in clinical trials and product development programs, the availability of funding to support continued research and studies, the availability or potential availability of alternative therapies or treatments, the availability of patent protection for the discoveries and strategic alliances, as well as additional factors that may cause Knopp’s actual results to differ from our expectations. There can be no assurance that any investigational drug product will be successfully developed or manufactured or that final results of clinical studies will be supportive of regulatory approvals required to market a product. Knopp undertakes no obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Knopp’s pipeline consists of investigational drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These investigational drug products are still undergoing pre-clinical or clinical study to verify their safety and effectiveness.