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Advanced Pain Remedies, a Subsidiary of Cato BioVentures, Announces a Three Million Dollar Award from the National Cancer Institute for SP-SAP

DURHAM, N.C., Jan. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Advanced Pain Remedies (APR), a subsidiary of Cato BioVentures, announces that a three million dollar grant has been received, to advance its lead development candidate, SP-SAP. Advanced Targeting Systems, the company that pioneered the targeting of specific cell types to manipulate them for the treatment of diseases, has been awarded a $3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Advanced Targeting Systems, working with APR, will use these funds to advance the technology over the next three years to initiate the clinical program for SP-SAP in end-stage cancer patients with intractable pain.

SP-SAP is a conjugate of the pain-processing peptide Substance P and the ribosomal inactivating protein saporin. The mechanism of action is well characterized. A small number of cells that process pathological pain signals are inactivated causing pain relief that appears to be permanent, whereas, normal acute pain is unaffected. In preclinical tests, a single treatment with SP-SAP alleviated pathologic pain perception without affecting other sensory signal pathways.

Following discussions and input from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the first population to undergo treatment with SP-SAP will be terminal cancer patients. There is an unmet medical need in this population and a desire to find a treatment that would allow patients an alternative to opioids for pain relief as they are nearing the end of their lives. APR, partnered with Cato Research, a global contract research and development organization (CRO), will lead the regulatory and development aspects of this project.

"I am pleased that the National Cancer Institute has recognized the importance of this project.  With their assistance, we will be able to move this promising technology into clinical trials and determine its potential benefit to this patient population," stated Dr. Allen Cato, CEO of Advanced Pain Remedies and Cato BioVentures.

About the BRDG-SPAN Program

The National Institutes of Health BRDG-SPAN Pilot Program (the Biomedical Research, Development, and Growth to Spur the Acceleration of New Technologies Pilot Program (RC3) is supported by funds provided to the NIH under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009, a component of the Federal Stimulus Package. The purpose of this pilot program is to accelerate the transition of research innovations and technologies toward the development of products or services that will improve human health, help advance the mission of NIH and its Institutes and Centers (ICs), and create significant value and economic stimulus. The BRDG-SPAN pilot is intended to help address the funding gap, often called the "Valley of Death", between innovative promising research and development (R&D) and transitioning those innovations to the market, by contributing to the critical funding needed by applicants to carry out later stage research activities and to pursue the next appropriate milestone(s) necessary to move a product/technology along a promising commercialization pathway. This program also aims to foster partnerships among a variety of research and development (R&D) collaborators.

About Cato BioVentures (HQ: Durham, NC with locations worldwide)

Cato BioVentures is the venture capital affiliate of Cato Research. For over 20 years, Cato BioVentures has assisted entrepreneurs in building successful life science companies. Cato BioVentures invests its CRO Service Capital™ in innovative technologies, therapeutics, medical devices, and platform tools, offering promising life science companies immediate access to a broad range of essential CRO services on a noncash basis. Access to these time-critical CRO services enables management to achieve key value-added development and regulatory milestones with less reliance on other sources of capital. Cato BioVentures has several offices in the US, Canada, and internationally.

About Advanced Pain Remedies (Durham, NC)

Headquartered near Research Triangle Park, NC, APR is majority owned and virtually run by Cato BioVentures. APR will work with Advanced Targeting Systems, Cato Research and Cato BioVentures to develop and seek a partner to commercialize SP-SAP as a novel, non-opioid treatment for severe chronic pain. This technology is a single dose, microsurgery which is anticipated to have minimal adverse side effects.  

About Advanced Targeting Systems (San Diego, CA)

Advanced Targeting Systems was founded in 1994 as a research reagent company.  It has pioneered the use of Molecular Neurosurgery, the use of targeting specific cell lines to Activate, Terminate or Stun cells for therapeutic or research purposes.  The same principles are now being used by workers studying diabetes, immunology, cancer and other disease states.

About Cato Research (HQ: Durham, NC with locations worldwide)

Founded in 1988 by Allen Cato, M.D., Ph.D., and Lynda Sutton and headquartered near Research Triangle Park, Cato Research is a global, full-service contract research and development organization providing strategic and tactical support for clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and medical diagnostic industries. With a staff of about 300 employees located in the United States, Europe, Canada, Israel, India and South Africa, Cato Research's services range from design and management of preclinical and clinical studies to submission of regulatory documents required for marketing approval.

SOURCE Advanced Pain Remedies; Cato BioVentures
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