Karamedica Announces National Institute on Aging Grant to Continue Development of Microparticle Therapy for Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy

RALEIGH, N.C., Dec. 15, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Karamedica, Inc. recently received a $2.5 million Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase II grant from the National Institute on Aging to continue developing a microparticle therapy for treating cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), a condition responsible for inflicting significant neurologic damage and afflicting greater than 85% of Alzheimer’s patients.

The grant builds on Karamedica’s nose-to-brain delivery system that was validated in the Phase I SBIR proof-of-concept studies using mouse models of CAA. Karamedica’s CAA therapy consists of “smart” microparticles made from chitosan, which is derived from chitin, a biopolymer obtained commercially from crustacean shells.

“We made great strides in the Phase I with support of NIH and our collaborators,” said Wolff Kirsch, MD, Karamedica Chairman & CEO. “In Phase II, we will expand the scientific and clinical team and begin an in-depth analysis of this promising therapy in an animal model.”

The project’s aims include optimizing synthesis of chitosan microparticles and characterizing effects of optimized microparticles in a preclinical mouse study. Specifically, the research team is assessing the biodistribution, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of intranasally administered microparticles containing a genetic construct that may slow or prevent cognitive decline from CAA. Karamedica’s scientists and their collaborators are also assessing blood brain barrier integrity and cognitive function of mice before and after treatment to quantify benefits of the chitosan microparticle therapy. Karamedica’s chitosan microparticles may prevent injuries to the cells of the brain’s blood vessels by triggering them to increase production of CD59, a natural inhibitor of a molecule formed by the immune system called the complement membrane attack complex.

Karamedica is building on its partnership with scientists at Loma Linda University, North Carolina State University, UCLA, UC Riverside, and Walla Walla University

“We are excited to continue working with our world-renowned collaborators toward translating this novel therapy to clinical use,” said company President Andrew Crofton, PhD. “We truly believe this therapy will revolutionize treatment of this terrible disease while also enabling therapies for other neurological disorders.”

Karamedica’s goal is to expand medical and veterinary uses of biopolymer-based products, especially those containing chitosan, by developing novel decontamination processes like non-thermal plasmas. Karamedica also creates innovative medical devices and drug delivery systems based on these biopolymers.

Taub T Swartz