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Friday, October 30, 2009

DiscoveryBioMed Awarded $300,000 NIH Grant for Cystic Fibrosis Drug Research and Development

DiscoveryBioMed Awarded $300,000 NIH Grant for Cystic Fibrosis Drug Research and Development

Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:23am EDT
Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant to Fund Research Performed by On-Going Collaboration between DiscoveryBioMed and The Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--(Business Wire)-- DiscoveryBioMed, Inc. (DBM) today announced that it has been awarded a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The $308,000 grant will be used to advance certain small molecule drug discovery programs designed to correct the genetic mutation most common to cystic fibrosis (CF).

"SBIR funding is an essential part of DiscoveryBioMed`s ability to provide our academic clients with cost-effective access to our world-class drug discovery engine," said Dr. Erik Schwiebert, Chief Executive Officer of DiscoveryBioMed. "By screening our test drugs on DBM`s proprietary disease-relevant human cell backgrounds, our clients are able to facilitate their basic research, bringing new therapies closer to patients.

The SBIR grant announced today is an example of this strategy in action." Dr. Schwiebert continued, "We are particularly pleased that the NIH has chosen to provide funding for this important drug discovery program and we are proud to be partnered with UAB`s Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Research Center in the pursuit of new clinical treatments for Cystic Fibrosis."

To date, DiscoveryBioMed, along with partners, James Collawn, Ph.D. and Zsuzsa Bebok, M.D., have screened approximately 25,000 compounds as part of this program. As a result of the SBIR award announced today, the team will be able to screen 50,000-70,000 additional compounds. In addition, the collaboration has already yielded the discovery and validation of a panel of 5 lead corrector compounds with nanomolar potency and 10-20 fold greater potency that any existing corrector drugs.

Medicinal chemistry derivatives are currently being synthesized from the most potent lead compound from a family of drugs that had common molecular structure. Patent protection is in its final stages with work being facilitated by the UAB Research Foundation. DBM and UAB investigators have mutual rights to existing and future lead compounds going forward and have contributed equally to the partnership.

"We are extremely pleased to be working with DiscoveryBioMed. Their exceptional technology and excellent small molecule screening library make them an ideal partner for this program, said James F. Collawn, Ph.D., Professor of Cell Biology at UAB. "We look forward to a continued and active scientific collaboration with DiscoveryBioMed." Dr. Collawn continued, "The SBIR grant announced today is a meaningful endorsement of our efforts investigating novel approaches to the development of therapies for the treatment of patients with CF. We believe the human airway epithelial cell model, which was acquired and licensed by DiscoveryBioMed, expressing the mutant CFTR from an endogenous gene is currently the best model for studies of this type. The funds made available through the SBIR grant will allow us to explore new ideas regarding mutant CFTR rescue and may lead to treatment alternatives for CF patients in the near future."

The grant announced today is the second to be awarded to DBM this year. The previous award, announced in September, was a Phase 2 SBIR grant to continue research into the discovery and development of small molecules to alleviate multiple chronic human diseases. About DiscoveryBioMed, Inc. DiscoveryBioMed, Inc. is a life sciences and biotechnology company that engages in R&D and services work in cell engineering and production and cell-based drug discovery. T

he company is located within Innovation Depot in Birmingham. Using physiologically relevant cell culture models preferably derived from normal and diseased adult human cells and tissues, it focuses on finding therapeutic compounds for a variety of human diseases. It also applies this custom human cell-based approach to its "fee-for-service" support to researchers in allied areas and currently serves clients both locally in Alabama as well as in 11 other states in the US currently. For more information, visit the DBM website at www.discoverybiomed.com. Discovery BioMed, Inc. Erik Schwiebert, Ph.D., 205-307-6535 x 1 erik@discoverybiomed.com or Red Mountain Communications Jonathan M. Nugent, 205-566-3026 jnugent@redmtncom.com Copyright Business Wire 2009

Copyright Business Wire 2009

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