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A New Drug Therapy for Advanced Heart Failure

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R44HL152710-01
Agency Tracking Number: R44HL152710
Amount: $1,987,434.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: NHLBI
Solicitation Number: PA19-272
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-07-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-06-30
Small Business Information
New Haven, CT 06511-2313
United States
DUNS: 079930627
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (860) 670-9215
Business Contact
Phone: (860) 670-9215
Research Institution

Current therapy for advanced heart failure (HF) is limited and new treatment is needed since the
mortality and morbidity of subjects with this form of heart disease remain high. Effort aimed at
enhanced healing of failing heart by cardioprotection represents a novel approach. The specific
background for the proposed project is that we have identified the endogenous cardiac P2X
receptor as a new therapeutic target for cardioprotection. The cardiac P2X4 receptor is an
essential and important subunit of the endogenous cardiac P2X receptor. A small molecule drug
substance MRS2339 activating cardiac P2X receptors has proven preclinical efficacy in animal
models of advanced HF and is without safety concerns in the Investigational New Drug (IND)-
enabling studies in rat and dog. Cornovus is a company, in collaboration with its academic
partner University of Connecticut School of Medicine’s cardiology research laboratory and
Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry of the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney
Diseases of NIH, is well-positioned to apply for an IND to the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) should the proposal is awarded. The objective of the grant is to further develop process
chemistry for bulk cGMP manufacturing of the clinical lot of MRS2339 and its drug product
based on the current formulation as well as to perform FDA-requested in vitro studies on cardiac
ion channels and on potential mitochondrial toxicity by MRS2339 and its metabolite MRS1873.
Cornovus has already improved the scale-up process chemistry in producing hundred gram
quantity for GLP safety studies and has ruled out any effect on the human ether-à-go-go-related
gene (hERG) ion channel by both compounds. The proposed studies should add to scientific
knowledge on the chemistry and pharmacology of both compounds and may also yield new
insights into the science of nucleotide and nucleoside. The proposal should also satisfy the
regulatory requirements to move this new drug into first-in-human clinical study, as we
anticipate new benefit to patients with advanced HF.Project Narrative
Patients with advanced heart failure are in need of new medical therapy. The goal here is to further
develop our lead agent which has proven preclinical efficacy in heart failure and has had no major
adverse effects in preclinical safety studies. The proposed work would position us to perform first-in-
human clinical trial after obtaining a successful IND.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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