SphynKx Therapeutics Awarded NIH Grant to Advance Novel SphK2 Inhibitors
Monday, October 7, 2013
SphynKx Therapeutics LLC has received its second Small Business
Innovation Research (SBIR) grant award from the National Institute of
General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health.
This grant will fund lead optimization and proof-of-concept studies for
its sphingosine kinase 2 (SphK2) inhibitor program.
SphK2 is a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of renal
fibrosis – the final common pathway leading to kidney failure in chronic
kidney disease (CKD). According to the National Kidney Foundation,
approximately 1 in 9 adults have CKD in the U.S. (26 million patients),
and another 20 million individuals are at risk. SphynKx has discovered a
series of best-in-class, small molecule SphK2 inhibitors with promising
pre-clinical activity in animal models of renal fibrosis.
peer-reviewed grant validates the high-quality, innovative science that
drives SphynKx’s drug discovery programs. Furthermore, it underscores
the pressing need to develop novel therapies to treat chronic kidney
disease – a significant problem affecting more than 10% of the
population - that continues to increase in prevalence,” commented
SphynKx Therapeutics’ CEO and Co-Founder Andrew Bolt
fibrosis results in excessive scarring that damages the kidney, often
resulting in waste buildup in the blood, abnormally high blood pressure,
and a decrease in red blood cells. Eventually, CKD patients require
dialysis treatment and/or renal transplant to compensate for the loss of
kidney function. CKD is physically limiting, has a profound impact on
quality of life, and ultimately is fatal – either as a result of kidney
failure or from associated cardiovascular disease that occurs at a high
rate in this patient population. To date, there are neither FDA approved
drugs that unequivocally slow the progression of CKD nor is there a
cure. To further underscore the significance of this unmet medical need,
annual Medicare costs to treat people with CKD equaled $57.5 billion or
28% of total Medicare spending.