February 26, 2013 (CLEVELAND, OHIO) Clinical stage biotechnology startup Milo Biotechnology has received a $300,000 Phase I SBIR grant from NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). The grant, which was awarded under NIAMS’ new Small Business Innovation Research on Rare Musculoskeletal, Rheumatic and Skin Diseases program, will enable Milo Biotechnology to study the efficacy of regional follistatin delivery in small and large animals.
“The therapies we are developing to treat muscular dystrophy work to increase muscle strength or decrease the rate of muscle atrophy,” says Milo Biotechnology CEO Al Hawkins. “This award is critical to this stage of Milo’s development, as it will allow us to take the next steps toward effective therapies for systemic muscle wasting.”
Milo Biotechnology’s therapy is based on adeno-associated virus delivery of follistatin, a protein that increases muscle strength and prevents atrophy. Follistatin functions primarily by blocking myostatin, a protein that reduces muscle strength. The company’s lead program for local muscle strengthening is currently in a Phase I/II clinical trial for patients with Becker muscular dystrophy and inclusion body myositis. “Milo Biotechnology’s ultimate goal is to develop a suite of therapeutic candidates that can serve the needs of a variety of patient populations,” Hawkins says.
For more information about Milo Biotechnology or its therapies, visit the company’s recently launched website, www.milobiotechnology.com.
About Milo Biotechnology Milo Biotechnology is an early clinical stage startup company developing therapies to strengthen muscle and improve the lives of patients with neuromuscular diseases. Its lead program, AAV1-FS344, leads to the local expression of follistatin, a myostatin inhibitor. Milo’s core technology was developed at and is exclusively licensed from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio; the company is based in Cleveland, Ohio, and has received funding from JumpStart Inc. and Cuyahoga County North Coast Opportunities Fund. Visit www.milobiotechnology.com for more information.