29 Septiembre 2021

Navega Therapeutics has been awarded a $2M Phase II SBIR grant from the National Cancer Institute

Navega Therapeutics has been awarded a $2M Phase II SBIR grant from the National Cancer Institute

The grant provides additional support for the development of novel gene therapies to ameliorate cancer pain.

San Diego, California. September 29, 2021.

Navega Therapeutics announced the receipt of a Phase II grant from the National Cancer Institute under the auspices of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program of the National Institutes of Health. This Phase II has been granted thanks to the scientific achievements accomplished in the Phase I SBIR grant during the pandemic.

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a common side effect of many cancer chemotherapy drug treatment regimens, and one of the major factors for patients to discontinue their live-saving chemotherapy. Furthermore, the current standard of care for CIPN often relies on opioids, which can have serious adverse events and significant risk of addiction. The increase in prevalence of cancer coupled with an increase in cancer survival rates is transforming CIPN into a large, unmet medical need.

Navega takes advantage of the genetic studies that have correlated a rare hereditary loss-of-function mutation in one channel isoform – NaV1.7 – with a genetic disorder known as Congenital Insensitivity to Pain (CIP). Individuals with CIP are insensitive to pain without other neurodevelopmental alterations. Thus, selective inhibition of NaV1.7 should recapitulate the phenotype of CIP. However, the high homology of human NaV proteins, have frustrated most efforts to develop selective inhibitors with small molecules and antibodies.

According to Dr. Fernando Aleman, CSO of Navega Therapeutics and Principal Investigator for the project, “the key of our approach is to target DNA that, contrary to RNA or proteins, do not undergo the constant turnover other modalities have to deal with. We switch off neurons so that the pain signal does not reach the brain.”

The new breakthrough builds on the expertise and successes of Dr. Ana Moreno, Navega’s CEO and Co-PI of the project. “We are honored to have received this Phase II SBIR grant, which will enable us to continue building upon our Phase I work, and to bring our gene therapy to treat chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy closer to the clinic.”

At the end of Phase II, Navega shall determine the potency, specificity, and safety of the optimized gene therapy and perform IND-enabling toxicology studies. Navega’s goal is to advance this therapy forward into the clinic, to provide an alternative treatment to opioids for cancer patients in pain.


About NCI SBIR | The SBIR/STTR program is one of the nation’s largest sources of financing for technology innovation. The National Cancer Institute’s SBIR Development Center provides funding, mentoring, and networking assistance to small businesses developing innovative cancer technologies, with an ultimate goal of bringing the innovation from lab to patients. Learn more about the program on https://sbir.cancer.gov. Research reported in this press release will be supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R44CA239940 titled “Treatment of Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy via Genetic Repression of Sodium Channels”. The content is solely the responsibility of Navega Therapeutics and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


About Navega Therapeutics Inc. | Navega is a preclinical stage company developing epigenetic-regulation gene therapies to tackle common diseases. Due to the involvement of NaV1.7 in multiple chronic pain states, Navega is harnessing the power of the epigenome to modify its expression and treat multiple chronic pain indications, including chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Other indications in Navega’s pipeline include neurological and ophthalmic diseases.

To learn more visit https://navegatx.com/ or contact us at info@navegatx.com


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