More MS news articles for April 1999

Kosan Receives NIH Grant to Design Novel Neuroregenerative Agents

Thursday April 15, 7:04 am Eastern Time
Company Press Release

 HAYWARD, Calif.--(BW HealthWire)--April 15, 1999--KOSAN Biosciences, Inc. announced today that it has received a Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grant from the NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to pursue research targeted at designing novel analogs of rapamycin and FK506 for the purpose of nerve regeneration.

The grant will support a collaborative effort between Kosan and Professor Thomas C. Bruice, University of California, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Rapamycin and FK506 are natural products that belong to the class of compounds known as polyketides. In addition to their utility as
immunosuppressive drugs, they also stimulate neurite outgrowth, and the two activities are separable. Analogs of rapamycin and FK506 may have the potential to become treatments for disorders of the central and peripheral nervous systems involving nerve degeneration or damage, such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, traumatic spinal cord and peripheral neuropathies.

In the collaboration, Kosan will use its proprietary genetic engineering technology to create new neuroregenerative analog compounds, and Dr. Bruice will use computer-aided searching and modeling to identify promising analogs. New analogs will be tested for nerve regeneration and active candidates will be considered for development.

KOSAN Biosciences, Inc. is a privately held biotechnology company focused on the generation of small molecule compounds through genetic engineering of biosynthetic pathways. The Company creates novel analogs of polyketides, a class of natural products that has been a rich source of drugs currently on the market.

Kosan's technology permits modifications of polyketides not feasible by chemical methods, thereby greatly expanding the repertoire of
polyketides. Initial therapeutic targets for the Company's compounds include infectious diseases, gastrointestinal motility disorders, respiratory inflammation, cancer, nerve regeneration and immunosuppression.

For further information, please visit Kosan's web site at

    KOSAN Biosciences, Inc., Hayward
    Michael S. Ostrach, 510/732-8400 x207