27 Mayo 2020

Navega Therapeutics Announces a Collaborative Research Agreement with the NIH's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) as part of the HEAL Initiative

Navega Therapeutics Announces a Collaborative Research Agreement with the NIH's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) as part of the HEAL Initiative


SAN DIEGO, California, May 27, 2020

Navega Therapeutics, a gene therapy company developing novel treatments for chronic pain, announced today that it was selected by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), a section of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), for a research collaboration as part of the NIH HEAL initiative to develop human cell-based screening platforms and novel drugs to treat pain.

Safe, effective, and non-addictive drugs to treat pain and mitigate addiction are key to addressing the opioid crisis. Given the limitations of current treatments and failures in development efforts for new therapies, drugs with better activity profiles, as well as more predictive drug development platforms, are needed. The NCATS-led NIH HEAL Human Cell-Based Screening Platforms and Novel Drugs to Treat Pain, Addiction and Overdose (HCBS) initiative is a multi-component collaborative program that is developing human-based, physiologically relevant in vitro screening and characterization systems and investigational new drug (IND)-enabling studies for drugs treating pain.

“Navega is excited to enter into this collaboration with the NCATS, which will provide us with additional complementary external validation to support our IND-enabling studies,” said Dr. Ana Moreno, Navega’s CEO and co-founder. “

The NCATS Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation (DPI), the intramural component of NCATS, comprises industry-scale expertise in stem cell biology, assay development, biomolecular screening, automated biology, data science and pre-clinical drug development, with advanced equipment and resources not available in most laboratories. “The NCATS’ expertise in nociceptor-like human iPSCs provides a great platform to validate our lead candidates” said Dr. Fernando Aleman, Navega’s CSO and co-founder.


About the NIH HEAL Initiative | The National Institutes of Health launched the "Helping to End Addiction Long-term" Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative, in April 2018 to improve prevention and treatment strategies for opioid misuse and addiction and enhance pain management. The NIH HEAL Initiative aims to improve treatments for chronic pain, curb the rates of opioid use disorder and overdose and achieve long-term recovery from opioid addiction.

"It's clear that a multi-pronged scientific approach is needed to reduce the risks of opioids, accelerate development of effective non-opioid therapies for pain and provide more flexible and effective options for treating addiction to opioids," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., who launched the initiative in early 2018. "This unprecedented investment in the NIH HEAL Initiative demonstrates the commitment to reversing this devastating crisis."

About NCATS | The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was officially established in fiscal year 2012 to transform the translational science process so that new treatments and cures for disease can be delivered to patients faster. NCATS, one of 27 Institutes and Centers (ICs) at NIH, strives to develop innovations to reduce, remove or bypass costly and time-consuming bottlenecks in the translational research pipeline in an effort to speed the delivery of new drugs, diagnostics and medical devices to patients.

About Navega Therapeutics Inc. | Navega is a preclinical stage company pursuing a radically different approach to treat chronic pain and tackle the opioid epidemic. Our gene therapy platform has the advantage of being highly specific and long-lasting, which has not been achieved by small molecules thus far. Our approach includes addressing different types of pain in order to improve the quality of life of millions of patients.