Symberix, a preclinical stage company dedicated to the development of novel pharmaceutical treatments for lower gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, has been awarded three Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), entered into a Research Collaboration Agreement with the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), and received a $250,000 Small Business Research Loan from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.
The three SBIR grants collectively totaling $2.9 million are awarded by the NIH’s National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The Research Collaboration Agreement with NCATS is for in-kind collaborative research activities and access to scientific expertise. The funded efforts include high-throughput screening, identification of new chemotypes and a clinical candidate, and IND-enabling studies for the clinical candidate.
“Symberix is developing first-in-class adjunctive therapies to mitigate the debilitating lower GI side effects of pain, cancer and organ-transplant medicines by selectively inhibiting b-glucuronidase enzymes in gut bacteria with small-molecule, non-antibiotic drugs. Our approach could be as clinically and commercially meaningful as marketed products developed for drug-induced nausea, vomiting and other upper GI side effects. We appreciate the support from the National Institutes of Health and North Carolina Biotechnology Center to enable Symberix to advance a new therapeutic paradigm based on pharmaceutical control of the microbiome.”
said Ward Peterson, Ph.D., CEO of Symberix.
“NCATS has a successful track record in small molecule tool discovery based on targets derived from the Human Genome Project, and this research project is one of the first examples of a collaboration between our Center and industry focusing on a drug target derived from the Human Microbiome Project. Our team of scientists will apply NCATS’ expertise in high-throughput screening, bioinformatics and medicinal chemistry to discover new classes of non-antibiotic compounds targeting the human microbiome.”
said Matthew Hall, Ph.D., NCATS Biology Group Leader.
Symberix, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing the first generation of gut microbiome-targeting drugs to treat lower GI disorders. Gut microbes express numerous proteins, including a family of bacterial b-glucuronidase enzymes, capable of generating toxic metabolites of many common medications in the lower GI tract. Symberix is developing bacterial b-glucuronidase inhibitors as adjunctive therapy to mitigate drug-induced toxicities and is exploring their use as monotherapy for other lower GI disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease. Symberix’s internal team and external advisors have a deep understanding of the biology of the gut microbiome, and extensive drug discovery and clinical development experience.