Diamyd Inc (Diamyd), a developer of pharmaceuticals for the treatment of autoimmune diabetes and its complications, has announced that the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded a $1.84 million grant to support the development of Diamyd's Nerve Targeting Drug Delivery System (NTDDS) for Diabetic Neuropathic Pain.

The two-year grant largely funds the advancement of NTDDS with Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase (GAD) through preclinical efficacy, toxicology and biodistribution studies, manufacturing and filing of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The grant is awarded to David Fink, M.D., Professor and Chairman, Department of Neurology at the University of Michigan, a long-term collaborator doing research with Diamyd’s NTDDS technology.

“Diabetic Neuropathic Pain is a widespread complication of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes and represents a significant unmet medical need. The market for Neuropathic Pain is expected to surpass five billion dollars in the coming decade, with diabetes being a major causative factor,” says Darren Wolfe, President of Diamyd Inc.

“NTDDS GAD has proven particularly useful in the treatment of neuropathic pain. This grant will allow us to take next critical step in translating our preclinical findings into human therapy,” says Dr. Fink. “With the platform safety of NTDDS established in our Phase I trial with Enkephalin, we anticipate the path to clinical trials with GAD to be relatively smooth,” Dr. Fink continues.

“With the NTDDS technology, pain killers are delivered to those neurons transmitting pain. This unique targeted delivery of drugs can be done with almost any product”, says Elisabeth Lindner, CEO of Diamyd Medical. “This grant therefore represents an important further step in recognition of our pain platform,” Elisabeth Lindner continues.

Diamyd Medical owns the exclusive worldwide license rights to a portfolio of patents for the Nerve Targeting Drug Delivery System (NTDDS). This system has a natural affinity for nerve cells and can, unlike conventional medications, which are taken up by the whole body, deliver drugs directly and specifically to the nerve cells. Diamyd combines the natural biology of NTDDS (local nerve targeting) with natural therapeutic agents such as GAD, Enkephalin or Endomorphin for treatment of pain.