South Rampart Pharma Receives $1.9 Million NIH Fast-Track STTR Commercialization Grant to Advance its New Class of Non-Opioid Pain Medicines

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- South Rampart Pharma, a company committed to improving the lives of people suffering from pain by developing a new class of non-opioid pain medicines, has been awarded a $1.9 million Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant (1R42NS119103) by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The fast-track Phase I/II award, administered through the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), will fund late-stage pre-clinical development of South Rampart’s lead small molecule, non-opioid pain medicine in collaboration with the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) Neuroscience Center of Excellence.

“The safe treatment of acute and chronic pain is a predominant and expensive public health issue worldwide,” said Hernan Bazan, M.D., chief executive officer and co-founder of South Rampart Pharma and professor of surgery at the Ochsner Clinic. “Current medications are either highly addictive or cause harm to the liver or kidney with overuse. South Rampart is developing non-opioid pain medicines effective in reducing both pain and fever while lacking the liver and kidney toxicity associated with current prescription and over-the-counter analgesics. This non-dilutive capital will help us advance a lead molecule to investigational new drug (IND) approval and Phase 1 clinical trials.”

Pierluigi Nicotera, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine and founding director of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) in Bonn, Germany added, "Current pain medications often have side-effects that may be serious especially in elderly individuals affected by chronic illnesses. The development of new safe analgesics is mandatory in particular for these patients. I look forward to learning more about the development of South Rampart Pharma’s new class of non-opioid drugs which has recently won NIH support.”

In the United States, pain affects more than 50 million Americans and costs the healthcare system an estimated $635 billion each year. Current medications are either highly addictive or cause harm to the liver and kidney. An initial paper describing the library of compounds South Rampart Pharma has discovered and characterized is published in the September 2020 issue of the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

NIH commercialization grants are highly competitive. In 2019, there were a total of 19 NIH STTR fast-track grants awarded in the United States. Over the past 10 years, there have been more than 1,500 applications to both the STTR and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant programs, with a funding rate of 13%.

Robert Naismith, Ph.D., a life science entrepreneur and founder of the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine stated, “South Rampart Pharma discovered a new chemical entity for the treatment of pain that is potentially safer and could be a major clinical advance. The underlying science clearly speaks to a unique mechanism of action which is recognized by the critical support of the NIH and the NINDS fast-track designation.”

Marianne Schultzberg, Ph.D., professor of neurobiology in the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden commented, “Pain is a serious problem for many people in the world and the possibility for a novel safe, effective and non-addictive treatments is of high importance. The side effects, abuse potential and liver or kidney toxicity are significant.”

About South Rampart Pharma, LLC
South Rampart Pharma is committed to improving the lives of people suffering from acute, chronic or neuropathic pain by developing a new class of small molecule, non-opioid pain medicines. South Rampart Pharma’s proprietary compounds have been effective in reducing both pain and fever in pre-clinical studies without liver and kidney toxicity, that are associated with current common over the counter analgesics. Headquartered in New Orleans, South Rampart Pharma is working with top medicinal chemists across the United States and in Spain at clinical and academic research centers to develop oral and intravenous formulations optimized for each indication. For more information, please visit http://southrampartpharma.com.

South Rampart Pharma, LLC Contact:
Hernan A. Bazan, MD, DFSVS, FACS
CEO and Co-Founder
info@southrampartpharma.com

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