Maas Biolab received an SBIR grant of $2.1 million to advance research on its drug candidate for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke grant extends over three years.
The compound, known as Mitogard®, is a formulation of the direct mitochondrial neuroprotectant cyclosporine. It is the only cyclosporine compound designed for cerebrospinal fluid administration, according to Maas Biolab.
The company believes that intrathecal delivery of Mitogard will overcome challenges faced by systemic cyclosporine, which does not easily reach the brain and spinal cord. Dose-escalation toxicology and pharmacokinetics safety studies will be performed by Northern Biomedical Research to enable IND approval for ALS clinical trials.