Navigation Links
University of Utah and Navigen Pharmaceuticals Announce a New Government Contract to Advance Slit2N for the Treatment of Hemorrhagic Fever and Anthrax Exposure
Date:12/8/2010

SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Navigen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that it has been awarded a new four year contract from the Department of Defense Program, Transformational Medical Technologies (TMT) for the development of Navigen's protein therapeutic, Slit2N, for the treatment of viral hemorrhagic fevers (resulting from exposure to agents such as Ebola or Marburg virus) and anthrax infection.  Navigen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. may receive up to $21.5 million in support of development efforts under this new Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) contract HDTRA1-10-C-0054.

The Slit2N technology originated in the laboratory of Dean Li, M.D., Ph.D., director of the University of Utah's Molecular Medicine Program, and is licensed from the University by Navigen.  The University of Utah School of Medicine's Molecular Medicine Program is a unique cadre of physician-scientists and basic science researchers collaborating to find solutions to important problems in clinical medicine.  In March of 2010, Li and colleagues in the Molecular Medicine Program published a study in Science Translational Medicine showing that Slit2N controlled the otherwise pathologic effects of the inflammatory response to virulent influenza, sepsis, and other potentially deadly infections while allowing the body's immune system to fight the underlying infection.  Although inflammation is a healthy part of the body's immune response, when left unchecked it weakens blood vessels and causes them to leak.  In the most extreme cases, this vascular leak results in non-cardiogenic shock and organ failure.  Li found that Slit2N can prevent the negative effects of inflammation and stabilize blood vessels.  The discovery raised the possibility that broad-range therapies could be developed to fight both viral and bacterial infections, such as pandemic flu, sepsis, and even human-made biological agents.

"This is the kind of discovery the Molecular Medicine Program is intended to produce," said Li, a cardiologist and professor of internal medicine.  "We've brought together physicians who understand the reality of the clinical world to work with basic scientists on discoveries that translate into real-world answers for patients."

The contract with DTRA announced today is consistent with Navigen's approach to developing early stage science in partnership with university investigators and government agencies.  "This agreement illustrates our team's ability to add value to pharmaceutical programs though our significant experience in both science and business," said Brandi Simpson, the Navigen Chief Business Officer.  "This program provides the scientific and financial resources to significantly advance this technology toward our ultimate goal of creating a novel therapy for dangerous pathogens."  Added Hunter Jackson, CEO of Navigen, "We are gratified by the enthusiasm DTRA has shown for the potential usefulness of this technology as a novel approach to a critical biodefense need.  In addition, this Navigen technology may be useful in treating a variety of other disorders such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, age-related macular degeneration, pulmonary fibrosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.  Navigen is actively engaged in partnerships with other government agencies to support and speed development of therapies in these and other areas."

About Slit2N

Slit2N is a biologically active fragment of the protein Slit2.  Slit2, in turn, is one of a family of guidance cues that the body uses to regulate the growth of nerve fibers and blood vessels.  Central to the potential therapeutic value of Slit2 and Slit2N is that they activate the Robo4 receptor, leading to stabilization of the endothelial wall lining the inside of blood vessels.  This, in turn, inhibits pathologic growth of blood vessels (as in cancer or age-related macular degeneration [AMD]) and also reduces vascular leak caused by inflammatory agents.  Reducing or preventing this vascular leak is a novel approach to treating a variety of diseases characterized by a fulminating immune response known as "cytokine storm" which, when uncontrolled, can lead to tissue edema, fever, organ failure, and death.  References to scientific reports providing more information about Slit2N can be found on Navigen's web site: www.navigenpharma.com.

About the Defense Threat Reduction Agency

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) was founded in 1998 to integrate and focus the capabilities of the Department of Defense (DoD) that address the threat by weapons of mass destruction (WMD).  DTRA's mission is to safeguard the United States and its allies from chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosive WMDs by providing capabilities to reduce, eliminate, and counter the threat and mitigate its effects.  DTRA combines DoD resources, expertise, and capabilities to ensure the United States remains ready and able to address present and future WMD threats.  For more information on DTRA, visit www.dtra.mil.

About Transformational Medical Technologies (TMT)

TMT was created by DoD to protect the Warfighter from emerging and genetically engineered biological threats by discovering and developing a wide range of medical countermeasures through enhanced medical research, development, and test and evaluation programs.  The TMT Program Office is matrixed from the Joint Science and Technology Office—DTRA and Joint Program Executive Office—Chemical and Biological Defense with oversight from the Office of the Secretary of Defense. For more information on TMT, visit www.tmti-cbdefense.org.


'/>"/>
SOURCE Navigen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related biology technology :

1. NIH Funds $1M Research at Quest Product Development and University of Colorado for New Digitally-Controlled Endoscopes
2. University of Pennsylvania scientists move optical computing closer to reality
3. RainDance Technologies Signs a Collaboration Agreement with sanofi-aventis and Louis Pasteur University to Launch dScreen Consortium within ALSACE BIOVALLEY cluster
4. University of Southern California Receives Cancer Diagnosis System for Detecting Esophageal Dysplasia
5. Stem Cell Transplantation Program at Hackensack University Medical Center: First in Nation to Receive Joint Commission Certification for Quality and First in New Jersey to be Named a Blue Distinction(R) Center for Specialty Care.
6. [video] Ronald Andrews, CEO of Clarient, Inc. Discusses Agreement With University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine on WallSt.nets 3-Minute Press Show
7. George Washington University Hospital Purchases Orthocrats TraumaCad(TM) for Orthopedic Preoperative Planning
8. Sigma-Aldrich and the University of Illinois Offer New Boronic Acid Surrogates to Researchers Worldwide Through Licensing Agreement
9. Brain and Hearing Pioneer, Michael Merzenich, Ph.D. to Speak at Case Western Reserve University
10. Stuart Parkin first distinguished professor at Eindhoven University of Technology
11. McMaster University unveils worlds most advanced microscope
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/31/2016)... ... , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics is thrilled to announce a new ... through Labor Day 2016. Bill Chaffee’s Boeing P-12B will be exhibited thanks to a ... first place for Senior Scale Model at the 1930 National Airplane Model League of ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... , ... May 27, 2016 , ... PBI-Gordon Corporation is ... and Ornamental Products. , In his 15-year career with PBI-Gordon, Dave has served in ... where he was integral in the development and launch of many of PBI-Gordon’s most ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... -- At present, the Biotech sphere is in ... that volatility is what makes this industry interesting to consider. ... Corp. (NASDAQ: SNTA ), CTI BioPharma Corp. (NASDAQ: ... ), and Heat Biologics Inc. (NASDAQ: HTBX ). ... for these stocks at: http://www.activewallst.com/register/ ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... 26, 2016 Q BioMed Inc. (OTCQB: ... be a featured presenter at the 5th Annual Marcum MicroCap ... York City at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. ... BioMed Inc. CEO, is scheduled to begin at 11a.m ET ... business strategy, recent developments and outline milestones for the balance ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:5/9/2016)... 9, 2016 Elevay is currently ... expanding freedom for high net worth professionals seeking travel ... globally connected world, there is still no substitute for ... duplicate sealing your deal with a firm handshake. This ... taking advantage of citizenship via investment programs like those ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... DUBLIN , April 27, 2016 ... of the  "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report ... ) , The analysts forecast ... a CAGR of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... a number of sectors such as the healthcare, ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in ... new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a new ... higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key health ... mass index, and, when they opt in, share them ... to a local retail location at no cost. By ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):