BOZEMAN, Mont.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Montana Molecular announced today that the company has received two new awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These highly competitive awards will support optimization and validation of preclinical cell-based assays for the development of non-addictive treatments for pain and opioid use disorder (OUD). Funding is part of the NIH Helping to End Addiction Long-term℠, or HEAL Initiative℠.
“Montana Molecular is in a unique position to help combat the opioid crisis,” said Anne Marie Quinn, MPH, Chief Executive Officer of Montana Molecular. “Our platform for monitoring the signals that mediate both pain and addiction in live neuronal cells empower drug discovery teams who need to prioritize lead compounds before advancing to clinical trials.”
Montana Molecular’s platform uses novel genetically-encoded fluorescent biosensors that monitor spatial and temporal information from signals in living cells that mediate pain and addiction. A grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will support research and development on unique preclinical assays for quantifying biased agonism, an important aspect of pain physiology. Information from these assays will be used to rank lead compounds for effectiveness in pain relief, while minimizing the adverse effects of OUD.
Montana Molecular’s ASPIRE Design Challenge Prize from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at NIH will support deployment of the company’s unique fluorescent biosensor assays in sensory neurons so that new pain medications can be evaluated in a biologically relevant model for pain before advancing to clinical trials.
The NIH HEAL Initiative℠ is focused on improving prevention and treatment strategies for opioid misuse and addiction, and enhancing pain management. “It’s clear that a multi-pronged scientific approach is needed to reduce the risks of opioids, accelerate development of effective non-opioid therapies for pain, and provide more flexible and effective options for treating addiction to opioids,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., who launched the initiative in early 2018. “This unprecedented investment in the NIH HEAL Initiative demonstrates the commitment to reversing this devastating crisis.”
About Montana Molecular
Montana Molecular is a privately held company leading innovation in preclinical, live cell assays to support the discovery of safer and more effective drugs. Montana Molecular is a certified WBENC Women’s Business Enterprise.