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SphynKx Therapeutics Awarded NIH Grant to Advance Novel SphK2 Inhibitors

Monday, October 7, 2013  
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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.


Targeting 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.


"This 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


Renal 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.

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