Knopp Biosciences LLC today announced that it entered the second year of research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to utilize its Kv7 platform to discover and develop non-opioid therapies for the treatment of chronic pain. The project is funded by the NIH program called Helping to End Addiction Long-term (the 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 electrically charged 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 chronic pain.
“Knopp is pleased that the achievement of year one milestones positioned the company to continue research on solutions for this public health crisis,” said Michael Bozik, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Knopp. “In year two, we expect to identify a molecule from our Kv7 platform that is suitable for further development as a potential non-opioid treatment for patients suffering from certain types of chronic pain.”
The grant funding of as much as $8 million is contingent upon the attainment of milestones over five years. Knopp’s HEAL award was 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 tinnitus. 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