The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently awarded a $7.1 million grant to biotechnology company Mebias Discovery for its opioid treatment drug.
The drug, MEB–1170, is an analgesic drug for the prevention and treatment of opioid use disorder. Funding will allow the company to take the drug through phase 1 clinical trials.
MEB–1170 has been proven effective in several preclinical analgesia models. It appears to lack the dangerous side effects associated with opioids currently on the market, making it ideal for treating and preventing opioid use disorder, the company said.
In the models, the drug did not cause sedation or constipation, impact respiratory function, or produce tolerance to analgesia. It also showed only minimal withdrawal symptoms.
“Given the overwhelming need for non-addictive pain medications, we are excited to advance our drug candidate towards the clinic,” Shariff Bayoumy, one of the three Mebias Discovery founding partners, said. “We thank NIDA and the NIH for their continuing support and confidence in our drug discovery work in this critical area.”
Funding is through the Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative to enhance pain management and improve prevention and treatment strategies for opioid misuse and addiction.