For Immediate Release:
August 17, 2016
Traverse Biosciences Receives $1.3M Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Award in Partnership with the School of Dental Medicine at Stony Brook University
Funding from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) of the
National Institutes of Health (NIH) to Evaluate the Pre-Clinical Safety and Effectiveness of
TRB-N0224 for the Treatment of Periodontal Disease
Stony Brook, NY; August 17, 2016: Traverse Biosciences announced today that it has received a $1,320,432 Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award in partnership with the School of Dental Medicine at Stony Brook University. Funding from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be used to evaluate the pre-clinical safety and effectiveness of the company’s lead drug candidate, TRB-N0224, for the treatment of periodontal disease. The research will be led by Lorne Golub, DMD, MD (Honorary) in the Department of Oral Biology and Pathology, and Ying Gu, PhD, DDS, in the Department of General Dentistry, who will serve as co-principle investigators on the award, in close collaboration with Traverse Biosciences.
TRB-N0224 was selected from a proprietary library of potential drug candidates invented by Dr. Golub and Dr. Francis Johnson, President of Chem-Master International Inc., as well as Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacological Sciences at Stony brook University. Traverse Biosciences maintains an exclusive license and option agreement with the Research Foundation for the State University of New York (RF/SUNY) for access to the relevant intellectual property, including a composition of matter patent that was issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office late last year.
Joseph Scaduto, MS, MBA, Founder and CEO of Traverse Biosciences, stated, “We are working to successfully commercialize TRB-N0224 as an FDA-approved pharmaceutical intervention for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases in both humans and companion animals, including periodontal disease.” He added, “This award from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research provides an infusion of non-dilutive capital that will allow us to demonstrate the pre-clinical safety and efficacy of this lead drug candidate.”
“I am very pleased that Traverse Biosciences has been able to attract the financial resources necessary to advance this highly collaborative research and development program,” said Dr. Golub, also a Scientific Co-Founder of Traverse Biosciences. “With this critical support from NIDCR, we can accelerate the commercialization of this platform technology for the treatment of periodontal disease, as well as a variety of other chronic inflammatory conditions.”
Dr. Gu commented, "I look forward to evaluating the therapeutic efficacy of TRB-N0224 to treat periodontal disease, and I am very pleased to work with Traverse Biosciences on this project. I strongly believe there is a need to develop new and improved therapeutics to manage chronic inflammatory diseases such as periodontitis. With this grant, we will be able to advance our research from bench top to chair side, from idea to commercialization." She added, "It is exciting to work closely with a new venture to develop a promising biomedical technology invented here at Stony Brook University"
Dr. Johnson, also a Scientific Co-Founder of Traverse Biosciences, stated, “TRB-N0224 represents an innovative therapeutic approach which focuses on resolving the chronic inflammation and tissue damage associated with periodontal disease that ultimately leads to bone and tooth loss.” He added, “Our experienced research team is very pleased to partner with Traverse Biosciences to commercialize this unique technology with broad applications in veterinary medicine and human health.”
Dr. Hsi-Ming Lee, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Oral Biology and Pathology and a Co-Investigator on the STTR award, stated, “I am very proud to be part of such a highly collaborative team to evaluate the pre-clinical safety and efficacy of TRB-N0224 for the treatment of periodontal disease.” She added, “This award builds upon our decades of experience in the development of novel therapeutics that resolve inflammation while directly inhibiting the bone loss associated with this chronic disease.”
Dr. Maria Ryan, a Co-Investigator on the STTR award and Chair of the Department of Oral Biology and Pathology said, “The Department of Oral Biology and Pathology has been a prolific source of innovation throughout its history with numerous products successfully developed and commercialized. I am so proud to see this legacy continue with the invention of TRB-N0224 and our fruitful partnership with Traverse Biosciences.” She added, “I look forward to contributing to this exciting project in close collaboration with Traverse Biosciences and my colleagues in the School of Dental Medicine.”
Dr. Mary Truhlar, Dean of the Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine, stated, “As the lead inventor of Periostat® and Oracea®, which are already FDA-approved, Dr. Golub is well-positioned to partner with Traverse Biosciences to help drive TRB-N0224 towards market.” She added, “As a researcher, educator and practitioner, Dr. Gu also brings critical skills and an invaluable clinical perspective to this study.”
"I congratulate Traverse Biosciences on securing a Phase II STTR award to advance their product development and commercialization efforts," stated Dr. Richard J. Reeder, Interim Vice President for Research at Stony Brook University. He added, “We are very pleased to collaborate with Traverse Biosciences to commercialize TRB-N0224 for the treatment of periodontal disease in humans and companion animals.”
Dr. Clinton Rubin, Director of the New York State Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University, stated “The highly competitive STTR program provides crucial funding to emerging bioscience companies to pursue innovative research with the potential to impact human health and society.” He added, "This STTR funding represents a significant milestone for graduates of our burgeoning BioEntrepreneur-in-Residence program, which is meant to impact the innovation economy and entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region."
Periodontal disease is one of the most prevalent diseases in the world, includes the major conditions of gingivitis and periodontitis, and is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that the prevalence of periodontitis in U.S. adults aged 30 years and older is 47.2% (64.7M). Periodontal disease has also been associated with other chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and various cancers. Moreover, patients with periodontal disease experience a worse oral health-related quality of life, including functional limitation, psychological discomfort, and social disability. The annual cost of periodontal therapy has been estimated to exceed $14 billion in the U.S. alone.
Periodontal disease also impacts companion animals, including dogs, cats and horses. Canine periodontal disease affects approximately 80% of dogs by the age of three, with the highest incidence in smaller breeds and older animals. Periodontal disease in dogs leads to serious complications (halitosis, pain, gum damage, tooth loss, bone infection, jaw fracture, fistula), and can impair liver, kidney, cardiac and metabolic function. Advanced periodontal disease adversely affects quality of life and mortality, especially in older animals. Diagnosis and disease progression necessitates dental cleanings, periodontal procedures and tooth extractions, all performed under general anesthesia, which also carries significant health risks.
About the Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine: The School of Dental Medicine at Stony Brook University was established in 1968 to define and shape the future as an international leader and innovator in dental education, patient care, research and service. Its mission is to advance oral and general health throughout the local and global community, through the continuous pursuit of excellence in education, patient care, discovery and leadership. Since its inception, the School of Dental Medicine has achieved an enviable reputation for the excellence of its educational and research programs. To learn more about the School of Dental Medicine, visit http://dentistry.stonybrookmedicine.edu/.
About the Center for Biotechnology: The mission of the Center for Biotechnology (CFB) is to catalyze the translation of basic biomedical sciences into diagnostic and therapeutic technologies that benefit human health and society, and fuel economic growth. Designated as a New York State Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) in Medical Biotechnology, the CFB was established in 1983 as a cooperative research and development partnership between universities, private industry and government. The primary objective of the CFB is to generate positive economic impact in the form of new and retained jobs, corporate revenues and cost savings, as well as leveraged funding from private and public sources, primarily by capitalizing on the unique research capabilities of academic institutions to drive and support a globally competitive, knowledge-based economy in New York State. To learn more, visit www.centerforbiotechnology.org.
About the Research Foundation for SUNY: The Research Foundation for The State University of New York is the largest, most comprehensive university-connected research foundation in the country. The RF manages SUNY’s research portfolio providing essential sponsored programs administration and innovation support services to SUNY faculty and students performing research in life sciences and medicine; engineering and nanotechnology; physical sciences and energy; social sciences, and computer and information sciences. The RF moves SUNY ideas and inventions to the marketplace collaborating with business and industry to create new opportunity and new jobs for New York State. To learn more about the RF, visit www.rfsuny.org.
About Traverse Biosciences: Traverse Biosciences is a privately-held emerging bioscience company launched to commercialize a proprietary pipeline of drug candidates to treat inflammatory diseases and age-related conditions affecting humans and companion animals. The company’s lead compound, TRB-N0224, is envisioned as the first FDA-approved, once-daily, edible prescription medication for the prevention of canine periodontal disease. For more information, Follow Traverse Biosciences on LinkedIn, or visit www.traversebiosciences.com.