Firm hopes ProNeura tech will reduce drug fluctuation-related side effects of dopamine agonists.

Titan Pharmaceuticals has won a $300,000 SBIR grant from the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) to support the development of an implantable nonfluctuating dopamine agonist therapy for Parkinson’s disease. The award could be followed by another $195,000 in funding next year, subject to grant availability and progress of project.

Titan says the research will center on exploiting its ProNeura technology for the development of a subcutaneous implant that provides continual delivery of dopamine agonist while maintaining stable plasma levels of the drug for six months or longer. The ProNeura platform is a continuous drug delivery system comprising a solid mixture of ethylene-vinyl acetate and a drug substance. The new SBIR grant will fund nonclinical research to evaluate the potential safety and efficacy of implant formulations of a number of dopamine agonists already marketed for treating Parkinson’s disease. Titan says data from these studies will be used to aid the further development of subcutaneous implants that minimize on/off motor fluctuations and treatment-related dyskinesias associated with current dopamine-replacement therapies.

The firm is already developing a buprenorphine subcutaneous implant, Probuphine, which is undergoing Phase III development for the treatment of opioid addiction. A confirmatory Phase III study with the Probuphine product was initiated in March, it is being supported by a two-year $7.6 million NIH Research and Research Infrastructure Grand Opportunities grant. Three Phase III studies with the product have previously been completed.

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