GlycoMira Receives $1.5 Million NIH Grant Award

GlycoMira Therapeutics, Inc. announced that it has received a 2-year $1.5 M Phase II Small Business Innovation Research Award for developing a new treatment for periodontal disease.  The award was issued by the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) and will support the continued development of GlycoMira’s semi-synthetic glycosaminoglycan ether (SAGE) technology.

The award from the NIDCR allows GlycoMira to develop the SAGEs as an effective local therapy to treat gingivitis and periodontitis.   Chronic gingival inflammation afflicts over half of all American adults and can progress to periodontal disease, eventually resulting in tooth loss.  Importantly, periodontal disease is exacerbated by diabetes and smoking, and periodontitis substantially increases the risk of systemic illness such as cardiovascular and renal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and pregnancy complications. “We are delighted to have the financial support necessary to continue development of this promising therapeutic innovation for oral biology and pathology,” said GlycoMira’s CSO, Dr. Glenn D. Prestwich, also a professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Utah. “The Utah community is committed to improving the lives of people through focused efforts in translational medicine, and we will stay focused on getting this new technology from the bench to the mouth for everyone to use.”

GlycoMira’s SAGE technology is now protected by five issued patents, and consists of a proprietary class of metabolically stabilized polysaccharides that are systemically and topically safe anti-inflammatory agents. The pilot studies in the first SBIR grant period demonstrated that GlycoMira’s lead compound, GM-0111, reduced key molecules involved in the destructive processes that lead to bone loss in an accelerated model of the disease.

GlycoMira will continue its development work with a world-class team led by Dr. Maria Ryan, DDS, PhD, Professor and Chair of Oral Biology & Pathology and a practicing periodontist at the School of Dental Medicine, Stony Brook University.  “We are thrilled to see this innovative technology move to the next phase of preclinical development and look forward to working with GlycoMira to eventually introduce this new technology into the clinical setting and the practice of dentistry”, said Dr. Ryan.  In addition, scientists in the College of Pharmacy and the new School of Dentistry at the University of Utah, will be assisting GlycoMira in the development of a topical oral formulation of SAGEs to prevent and treat gingivitis and periodontitis, which may also have applications towards the reduction of implant associated bone loss that can lead to dental implant failure. “This is an exciting opportunity for pharmacy and dentistry at the U,” said newly-arrived Dean of the U’s School of Dentistry Dr. Rena D’Souza, DDS, PhD. “Maintaining oral health is not only a good idea, it’s essential to overall health as well. I’m delighted to integrate the School of Dentistry into the robust entrepreneur ecosystem in life sciences in Utah.”

About GlycoMira:

GlycoMira Therapeutics, Inc. is a development stage pharmaceutical company with a novel approach to treating inflammatory diseases that affect over 150 million Americans. GlycoMira was launched in early 2008 by University of Utah researchers and entrepreneurs, Glenn D. Prestwich, PhD and Thomas P. Kennedy, MD. In collaboration with physicians and scientists at the University of Utah and Stony Brook University, GlycoMira is developing unique, proprietary inflammation-modulating therapeutics that are safe and effective for the topical treatment of periodontal disease, gingivitis, oral inflammation and bladder inflammation. In addition, GlycoMira has an R&D project funded by the National Cancer Institute targeted at reducing inflammation in cancer that is responsible for invasive metastatic disease.