Austin-based Pain Therapeutics has received two grants totaling $4 million to continue its development of two drugs.
The news sent shares of the company up more than 8 percent.
The drug development company, which was founded in 1998, was awarded a $2.2 million research and development grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Pain Therapeutics said the grant provides a path forward to develop Fenrock, a drug candidate for severe pain.
Fenrock is an adhesive patch that contains the prescription drug fentanyl to manage pain and incorporates novel abuse-deterrent technology, the company said.
“We are grateful for NIDA’s scientific and financial support for Fenrock,” Remi Barbier, Pain Therapeutics CEO, said in a written statement. “This grant underscores the urgent need to better address the abuse potential of currently marketed fentanyl patches.”
The grant is a technical-milestone based award that will enable Pain Therapeutics to immediately move forward with the development of Fenrock, which is an early stage drug candidate.
Meanwhile, the company also received a $1.8 million research grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s.
The grant will support technology developed by the company to diagnose Alzheimer’s with a simple blood test.
“Finding a way to diagnose disease at an early-stage is vitally important,” Barbier said. “A blood test may help detect Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms occur, or rule out other possible causes of memory problems, or might be used as a biomarker to measure the efficacy of drug candidates during clinical trials.”
The NIH’s National Institute on Aging awarded the grant to Pain Therapeutics following a competitive evaluation of its technology for scientific and technical merit.
The technical-milestone based award will allow Pain Therapeutics to work with leaders in the field to develop a blood-based diagnostic for Alzheimer’s disease, the company said.
The diagnostic technology is related to PTI-125, Pain Therapeutics’ clinical-stage drug candidate for Alzheimer’s disease.
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