TransMolecular, Inc. Awarded Phase II SBIR Grant to Develop New Pain Drug Therapies


Researchers Developing Neuropathic Pain Therapies Based

On a New Sodium Ion Channel

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- TransMolecular, Inc. today announced that it has received a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to discover and develop pharmaceutical alternatives for treating neuropathic pain. The grant is worth approximately $760,000 over the next two years.

"Neuropathic or chronic pain represents an underserved medical need. Ion channels have played an important part in the development of many potent blockbuster drugs. Our work is unique because the company has focused a major amount of its research effort into the development of a specific sodium ion channel that is only expressed in pain signaling nerve tissue," said Matthew A. Gonda, Ph.D., president and CEO of TransMolecular. "These particular ion channels are of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry because they provide a new molecular target for discovering drugs to modulate the abnormal firing of neuronal impulses. This research will lead to the development of a new generation of pain control agents for which the potential market is very large. Funding of our grant validates the importance of our research into this ion channel as a new drug target."

TransMolecular has exclusively licensed from Yale University a new sodium ion channel mined from the central nervous system (CNS) that produces abnormal repetitive neuronal firing, an underlying cause of neuropathic pain. Ion channels are involved in more than 30 different disorders, several of which affect the CNS. Researchers at TransMolecular are developing targets for discovering new drug therapies for chronic or neuropathic pain resulting from arthritis, diabetes, cancer and back disorders-based on the identification of a new sodium ion channel as a major target in the pain pathway.

According to the American Chronic Pain Association, 86 million Americans suffer from some form of chronic pain, and it is the most common cause for limitation in activities in person over the age of 45. Medical economists estimate that pain disorders cost the U.S. economy about $100 billion annually in lost productivity and medical expenses. It is estimated that the market size for pain management in the U.S. exceeds $7 billion and is growing at 7 percent per year.

TransMolecular has received three SBIR grants to date totaling more than $1 million for its cancer and pain programs. SBIR grants are awarded on a competitive basis to companies whose projects are judged in a peer-review process to demonstrate strong scientific merit and commercial potential. They are funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration and administered by the National Institutes of Health.

About TransMolecular, Inc.

TransMolecular, Inc., founded in 1996, is a privately held neuroscience biotechnology company committed to discovering, developing and commercializing novel and proprietary products to diagnose and treat disorders and diseases of the central nervous system having inadequate pharmaceutical alternatives, including cancer and pain. The company's corporate office and R&D laboratory are located in Birmingham, Alabama. Additional information is available at www.transmolecular.com .

Contact: Matthew D. Carrington

Director, Finance and Corporate Development

Ph: 205-972-0770

carrington@transmolecular.com