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Novel Therapeutic Agents to Reverse Opioid Overdose

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 2R44DA052957-02
Agency Tracking Number: R44DA052957
Amount: $2,529,335.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIDA
Solicitation Number: DA19-019
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-09-30
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-08-31
Small Business Information
Cambridge, MA 02138-1002
United States
DUNS: 080316838
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (617) 621-8500
Business Contact
Phone: (617) 621-8500
Research Institution

Project Summary/Abstract
This effort addresses the urgent need for a safe rapidly acting reversal agent for fentanyl and
its analogues (F/FA) with a mechanism of action that differs from the µ-opioid receptor (MOR)
antagonists including naloxone. Abuse of F/FA is now a major cause of death that is increasing yearly.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show that between 2013 and 2020 fentanyl-linked deaths have
increased 10-fold; fentanyl related deaths now are double those caused by heroin. Naloxone, currently the
standard of care to reverse respiratory depression caused by opioid overdose, is highly effective against heroin
and many opioids derived from natural products, but is far less effective against F/FA. The long-term objective
is to obtain FDA approval for sale and marketing of CS-1103, a small-molecule sequestrant, formulated for
intramuscular injection, as a rescue drug to treat F/FA toxicity in the commonly encountered emergency
scenarios of mixtures of multiple F/FA and co-use of F/FA with stimulants. CS-1103 is well tolerated, selectively
binds F/FA in blood and dramatically accelerates its removal from the body by clearance into the urine,
representing a new approach to reversal of drug effect: remove the cause and remove the effect. It is
proposed here to continue development of CS-1103 as a rescue drug to treat opioid toxicity in emergency
scenarios. Formulation of CS-1103 for IM administration will be optimized and a safe and effective IM dose that
rapidly reverses physiological effects of opioids in these scenarios will be determined. These significant
milestones on the path to FDA approval will be achieved via completion of the following Aims: Aim 1 will
optimize a stable formulation of CS-1103 suitable for IM injection with rapid appearance in the
plasma compartment. The formulation will be adjusted to maximize stability, tolerability, and speed of
appearance of CS-1103 in plasma, and evaluated in rat and canine. Expected outcome is a formulation
appropriate for use in human studies. Aim 2 will establish the efficacy profile of CS-1103 for IM
injection for reversal of F/FA intoxication in real-world scenarios, in pre-clinical studies. Three
scenarios: 1) multiple F/FA, 2) fentanyl in the presence of stimulants, and 3) use in conjunction with naloxone,
will be evaluated. A detailed dose-ranging study in rat and canine will be conducted to establish an effective dose.
Endpoints are restoration of adequate ventilation and clearance of opioid from plasma into urine. Expected
outcome is CS-1103 dose for reversal of toxic effects and rapid opioid clearance. Aim 3 will establish the
safety profile of CS-1103 for IM injection in pre-clinical Investigational New Drug Application
(IND)-enabling studies. Standard Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) toxicology and pharmacokinetic studies
per FDA requirements will be performed in rat and canine to establish a safe initial human dose; the endpoint
will be the maximum safe dose. A pre-IND meeting will be conducted with the FDA. Successful completion of
Aims 1-3 is anticipated to yield a drug candidate ready for further IND-enabling pre-clinical studies.

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

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