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SignaBlok Wins $1.34M NIH Phase II Grant to Advance New Nanotechnology for Atherosclerosis Imaging
SignaBlok, Inc. was awarded a new NIH SBIR Phase II grant totaling $1.34 million for continuing development of new nanotechnology-based atherosclerosis imaging. This award follows on the success of work completed during the Phase I grant.
SignaBlok’s proprietary nanosystem for delivery of drugs and imaging agents targets macrophages, inflammatory cells that are critically involved in plaque formation and have a high discriminatory power to identify the vulnerable plaque. The goal of this grant is to advance preclinical studies of new macrophage-targeted MRI imaging agents towards an investigational new drug (IND) application to the FDA.
Alexander Sigalov, Ph.D., President and Founder of SignaBlok said, “We have strong pre-clinical efficacy data that show an MRI contrast agent, when delivered to macrophages by SignaBlok's nanoparticles, significantly improves atherosclerotic plaque detection in an animal model of the disease. This Phase II award will allow us to continue development of our lead candidates. New imaging technique would fill an important unmet need in the diagnosis and treatment of atherosclerosis and offer better way to identify high-risk individuals, provide earlier diagnosis before symptoms occur and monitor treatment effects.”
“Macrophages are important imaging targets for diagnosis and image-guided therapy of not only atherosclerosis but also cancer. Thus, this grant gives us an opportunity to develop targeted nanosystem for in vivo macrophage imaging with a wide range of clinical applications. We are extremely pleased to continue to receive funding from the NHLBI,” said Alexander Sigalov.
Reference: Sigalov AB. Nature-inspired nanoformulations for contrast-enhanced in vivo MR imaging of macrophages. Contrast Media & Mol Imaging, 2014, in press. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
SignaBlok is developing a new class of therapies – SCHOOL peptides, the innovative modulatory peptides that can be rationally designed for nearly any cell surface receptor and have broad potential to treat and prevent a wide range of serious diseases with unmet clinical needs. SignaBlok is also developing a nanotechnology that enables targeted delivery of SCHOOL peptides and other therapies and/or imaging agents, aiming to improve efficacy, reduce dose, and allow image-guided therapy. Additional information about SignaBlok is available at www.signablok.com.
Alexander Sigalov, Ph.D.