SAN DIEGO, Sept. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Lpath, Inc. (NASDAQ: LPTN), the industry leader in lipidomics-based therapeutics, announced receipt of a Notice of Grant Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This $145,000 Phase 1 SBIR grant will support the study of Lpath's therapeutic monoclonal antibody, Lpathomab, in animal models of diabetic neuropathic pain and diabetic neuropathy.
Lpathomab functions like a 'molecular sponge' that binds to and neutralizes the bioactive lipid signaling molecule, lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). In this way, the LPA receptors associated with the transmission of pain through the nervous system are silenced. Lpathomab was discovered using Lpath's proprietary ImmuneY2drug-discoverytechnology.
In collaboration with researchers at the University of California, San Diego, Lpath has already generated strong, reproducible data in an accepted animal model in which significant pain relief was observed in diabetic rats after Lpathomab treatment.
The Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DIABETES AND DIGESTIVE AND KIDNEY DISEASES granted this award (1R43DK098829-01), which will provide Phase 1 funding to conduct in vivo studies of diabetic neuropathy in diabetic rats that will be treated with Lpathomab. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is the most common long-term complication of diabetes mellitus and affects about 50% of patients with either type-1 or type-2 diabetes. Patients with DPN often experience debilitating pain symptoms that affect day-to-day functioning and quality of life. Many patients with DPN-related pain do not respond adequately to any treatment option currently available, signifying a strong unmet need to develop new, more efficacious drugs.
"We are pleased the NIH has recognized the value of Lpath's innovative approach of neutralizing LPA to treat diabetic neuropathic pain," stated Dr. Rosalia Matteo, associate director at Lpath and the principal investigator on the grant. "With NIH support, we plan to continue generating compelling data and advancing Lpathomab, a compound that could potentially fill the tremendous void that exists in the neuropathic pain market."
About Lpathomab and Lpath's proprietary ImmuneY2 technology
Lpathomab was generated using Lpath's proprietary ImmuneY2technology. This drug-discovery engine provides Lpath with a unique platform from which to generate antibodies against bioactive lipids, opening up an entire new array of drug-discovery possibilities. About 1,000 bioactive members of the lipidome are believed to exist, but the number could be considerably larger as the study of lipidomics continues to expand. Nature Reviews stated that bioactive lipids promise to occupy center-stage in cell-biology research in the twenty first century. No other company or research institution has demonstrated an ability to generate therapeutic-grade monoclonal antibodies against lipids.
San Diego-based Lpath, Inc. (NASDAQ: LPTN), an antibody-platform company, is the category leader in lipidomics-based therapeutics, an emerging field of medicine that targets bioactive signaling lipids for treating a wide range of human disease. Lpath's ImmuneY2 drug-discovery engine has the unique ability to generate therapeutic antibodies that bind to and inhibit bioactive lipids that contribute to disease. The company has developed three drug candidates, two of whichiSONEP for wet AMD and ASONEP for cancerare currently being investigated in Phase 2 trials. The third candidate, Lpathomab, is an anti-LPA antibody that holds promise in neuropathic pain and neurotrauma. For more information, visit www.Lpath.com.
About Forward-Looking Statements
The Company cautions you that the statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts are forward-looking statements. These include statements regarding: the potential benefits and therapeutic uses for Lpathomab, the Company's ability to successfully complete additional preclinical studies, development activities and clinical trials for Lpathomab; and the Company's ability to develop additional drug candidates utilizing its proprietary ImmuneY2 drug discovery process. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in this press release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in the Company's business, including, without limitation: the outcome of the final analyses of preclinical studies involving Lpathomab may vary from the Company's initial conclusions; the results of any future preclinical studies or clinical trials for Lpathomab may not be favorable and the Company may never receive regulatory approval for Lpathomab or any of other its drug candidates; and the Company may not be able to secure the funds necessary to support its clinical trial and product development plans. More detailed information about the Company and the risk factors that may affect the realization of forward-looking statements is set forth in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC. Such documents may be read free of charge on the SEC's web site at www.sec.gov. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and the Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Scott R. Pancoast
President and CEO
Westwicke Partners, LLC
Stefan Loren, Ph.D.
Robert H. Uhl
SOURCE Lpath, Inc.