Pittsburgh-based Noveome Biotherapeutics, Inc., has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health to begin clinical trials on potential remedies for currently untreatable back of the eye conditions including glaucoma and optic neuritis, as well as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease usually caused by repeated head injuries.
Noveome, which has developed a proprietary product, called ST266, for healing damaged or diseased tissue, will conduct the trials in collaboration with SipNose, Ltd. of Yokneam, Israel, a medical device company that has developed a tool that delivers ST266 non-invasively through the nose to protect nerves in the affected areas of the eye or brain.
Last month, Noveome and SipNose entered into a formal collaboration agreement for using ST266 with the nasal device. While the partnering companies have already completed preclinical studies, a Phase 1 clinical safety trial is scheduled to begin in later 2018.
From the 233 subjects treated with ST266 in eight clinical trials, it was found to be “well-tolerated and there were no drug-related adverse events reported, attesting to its strong safety profile,” according to a Noveome press release.
“We are confident that we will be successful in delivering ST266 directly to the back of the eye and brain,” said William J. Golden, founder, chairman and CEO at Noveome. “Combining our product with SipNose’s innovative medical device represents a revolutionary approach to non-invasively treat currently untreatable medical conditions.”
The partnership between Noveome and the commonwealth follows the November 2017 signing of an Agreement on Cooperation in Research, Development and Technological Innovation by Israel and Pennsylvania.
Marc Zucker, chairman of the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition, noted, “The Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition worked tirelessly last year to consummate a memorandum of understanding between Israel and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
This latest development demonstrates how businesses in Israel and Pennsylvania, when given the opportunity, can build bridges of understanding and mutual cooperation, for the benefit of all concerned.”
“It is very timely and exciting to have an established Pittsburgh biotech company and an innovative Israeli company collaborating on this critical life sciences project,” said Dennis M. Davin, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
Added Jeffrey Finkelstein, president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, “Pittsburgh and Israel have many connections through technology and medical companies that employ experts across countries. This development attests to the growth potential for partnerships between the thriving tech community in Pittsburgh and the ‘startup nation’ of Israel.” PJC
Adam Reinherz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.