More MS news articles for Aug 2001

Salus Therapeutics Receives a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research -SBIR- Grant Award to Develop Therapeutics for the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis

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August 27, 2001 11:01am
Source: Business Wire

SALT LAKE CITY, Aug 27, 2001 (BW HealthWire) -- Salus Therapeutics Inc. today announced that the company has received a $750,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health.

This award will support the company's multiple sclerosis drug discovery program. Duane E. Ruffner, Ph.D., co-founder, senior vice president for research of Salus will be the principal investigator on the project.

The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation estimates that 350,000 to 500,000 people in the United States are afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) with 8,000 new cases reported annually. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke estimates the annual costs of MS in the United States is in excess of $2.5 billion.

More important than the monetary costs are the immeasurable costs in human suffering. The symptoms of MS include, abnormal fatigue, impaired vision, loss of balance and muscle coordination, slurred speech, tremors, stiffness, bladder and bowel problems, difficulty walking, short-term memory loss, mood swings, and in severe cases, partial or complete paralysis.

"Currently there are no truly effective therapies for this neurodegenerative disease, and those available produce severe side effects," said Dr. Dinesh Patel, co-founder and chairman. "Salus will use its novel technology to identify nucleic acid-based therapeutics for the treatment of this debilitating disease," he added.

"The company's focus on nucleic acid-based therapeutics allows for the development of drugs with greater specificity than can typically be achieved with traditional small molecule pharmaceuticals. The recent investment by a large pharmaceutical company in a leading antisense company reflects growing interest in antisense drugs as important new therapeutics," said Salus' president and CEO, Richard K. Koehn, Ph.D.

Salus Therapeutics, a privately held biotechnology company located in Salt Lake City, is focused on the research and development of nucleic acid-based therapeutics, including antisense and gene therapy drugs. The company's technology, allows the rapid identification of "optimal" antisense targets on any gene of interest.

Salus has also developed new compounds for the delivery of antisense drugs using a variety of patented polymeric carriers that are biocompatible and non-toxic. Salus will use this technology to identify targets on a variety of disease related genes and deliver oligonucleotide-based drugs.

In addition to MS, the company is developing products for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, inflammatory disease, diabetes and cancer.

CONTACT:    Salus Therapeutics Inc., Salt Lake City
                  Richard K. Koehn, 801/983-0338
                  Dinesh C. Patel, 801/983-0338
                  Fax: 801/983-0342

Copyright (C) 2001 Business Wire