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A New Anti-inflammatory Therapy for Ischemic Stroke

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41HL156322-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41HL156322
Amount: $433,483.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NHLBI
Solicitation Number: PA19-270
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-12-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-12-14
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) 874-7939
Business Contact
Phone: (203) 464-0146
Research Institution
Sponsored Program Services
STORRS, CT 06268
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

Current therapy for ischemic stroke is limited and new treatment is needed since the mortality
and morbidity of subjects with this condition remain high. Effort aimed at blocking immune cell-
mediated inflammation represents a novel approach. The specific background for the proposed
project is that we have identified the myeloid P2X4 receptor (P2X4R), which induces
inflammation, as a new therapeutic target for ischemic stroke. Through our collaboration with Dr.
Kenneth A. Jacobson, we have synthesized new small molecule antagonists at the P2X4R
based on their prototypes and their efficacy in reducing stroke infarct size and improving
functional behavioral outcomes. This structure-activity relationship study provided guidance on
the type of compounds that may have anti-stroke efficacy. The goal here is to screen the new
compounds for their affinity and selectivity at human P2X4R vs. other major human P2X
receptors, and then perform preclinical proof of concept studies for efficacy in an established
murine ischemic stroke model as well as in blocking P2X4R in myeloid cells of stroke patients.
Cornovus is a company, in collaboration with its academic partner University of Connecticut
School of Medicine’s research laboratories, and Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry of the
National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases of NIH, is well-positioned to
perform the proposed feasibility studies. The objective of the grant is to screen and identify two
lead compounds and then test them in the in vivo murine ischemic stroke model and the ex vivo
human myeloid cell model obtained from ischemic stroke patients. The proposed studies should
add to scientific knowledge on the chemistry and pharmacology of P2X4 antagonists and may
also yield new insights into the science of such an anti-inflammatory approach. Pending
successful outcomes, the proposal should position the company to pursue IND-enabling studies
in the future.Project Narrative
Patients with ischemic stroke are in need of new medical therapy. The goal here is to determine the
feasibility of a new ant-inflammatory approach to treat ischemic stroke. We aim to identify a lead and a
co-lead small molecule agents based on synthesis, screening, and testing in biological models of new
compounds. Preclinical proof of concept studies performed will determine feasibility of this novel
medical therapy. The proposed work would position us to move to IND-enabling safety studies and
manufacturing to proceed to a successful IND application.

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

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