THE NEW JERSEY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY AWARDS FUNDING TO EDGE THERAPEUTICS FOR TREATMENTS TO PREVENT SECONDARY BRAIN DAMAGE AFTER SUDDEN BRAIN INJURY
Newark, N.J. (July 7, 2010) – Edge Therapeutics, Inc. announced today that it has received $100,000 in financing from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to supplement an Edison Innovation R&D Grant of $500,000 awarded to Edge in November 2009. Edge will use the funding for further development of its novel treatments to prevent secondary brain damage that often occurs after hemorrhagic stroke or traumatic brain injury (TBI).
“We are pleased that the State of New Jersey recognizes the potential value that our proprietary approach may bring to patients stricken by sudden brain injuries,” said Brian A. Leuthner, President and CEO of Edge Therapeutics. “We look forward to advancing our program to treat complications of bleeding into and around the brain. Our goal is to prevent further brain damage and even death after the intracranial hemorrhage and initial brain injury occurs.”
Current treatments to prevent secondary complications caused by sudden brain injury are limited and minimally effective, largely due to the inability to deliver adequate doses of protective drugs to the specific site of injury in the brain.
“Treating bleeding in the brain presents a difficult challenge,” said Dr. Stephan A. Mayer, a member of Edge Therapeutics’ Scientific Advisory Board and Professor of Clinical Neurology and Neurological Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons in New York City. “We need to find better therapies than what are currently available. Edge Therapeutics is on the right path by investigating the targeted delivery of a proven therapy.”
In November 2009, the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology awarded a highly competitive Edison Innovation R&D grant of $500,000 to Edge Therapeutics, making the company eligible for the wraparound funding from the NJEDA.
“New Jersey’s impressive reputation as a State rich in innovation and entrepreneurial spirit is only strengthened by pioneering companies like Edge Therapeutics,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Caren Franzini. “We are pleased to support Edge Therapeutics and look forward to watching this company continue to thrive in New Jersey.”
About Sudden Brain Injury
Sudden brain injury from either a hemorrhagic stroke or traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause bleeding in and around the brain. The majority of victims are young, productive contributors to their household and to the local and state economy. It is estimated that the cost to New Jersey’s economy from brain injuries exceeds $200 million annually, and approximately 175,000 of the state’s residents currently live with brain injury-related disabilities.
Globally, sudden brain injury is a major public health issue costing hundreds of billions of dollars annually. Each year, more than three million people worldwide have a hemorrhagic stroke, the deadliest type, which kills or maims more than 80% of its victims. TBI is the “signature wound” of current U.S. military operations worldwide, resulting from exposure to rocket-propelled grenades, improvised explosive devices and land mines. Medical experts estimate that 20% or more of deployed U.S. service members in Iraq and Afghanistan have sustained traumatic brain injuries – totaling more than 360,000 American troops. In civilians, TBI is the leading cause of death and disability among children and adults under age 45. Today, more than three million Americans suffer from permanent disabilities resulting from traumatic brain injury.
About Secondary Brain Damage
Secondary brain injury is an indirect result of a sudden brain injury (hemorrhagic stroke or TBI) which can damage neurons that were unharmed in the primary injury. While sudden brain injury results from processes initiated directly by the stroke or TBI, secondary brain injury occurs in the hours and days following the primary injury and plays a large role in the ultimate extent of brain damage and deaths. In sudden brain injury, 80% to 90% of victims survive the initial injury, but almost half suffer secondary brain damage in the days to weeks after the event.
Cerebral vasospasm is a leading delayed complication following subarachnoid hemorrhage or TBI. Vasospasm occurs 3-14 days after the subarachnoid hemorrhage and results in other blood vessels in the brain contracting, thereby limiting blood flow to vital areas of the brain. This reduced blood flow can cause another stroke or additional tissue damage.
About NimoGel™ (EG-1961)
NimoGel consists of the FDA-approved calcium channel blocker nimodipine formulated in a proprietary biodegradable polymer designed to release the drug over 14 days. NimoGel is delivered directly to the site in the brain where it is needed, thus providing very high drug concentrations at the specific site at risk for life-threatening vasospasm while using 80% less drug than is currently administered systemically. Today’s oral nimodipine therapy is minimally effective because dangerous side effects such as lowering of blood pressure limit the ability to achieve optimal drug concentrations in the brain.
About Edge Therapeutics
Edge Therapeutics is a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company located at the Enterprise Development Center Incubator on the campus of New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, NJ. The company was founded in 2009 and is supported by private investors, the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology, and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Edge Therapeutics seeks to revolutionize treatment to prevent secondary brain damage after hemorrhagic stroke or TBI, by taking today’s minimally effective off-patent drugs and delivering them directly to the brain via proprietary sustained-release formulations. The most advanced product, NimoGel™, consists of the generic calcium channel blocker nimodipine formulated in a biodegradable polymer carrier composed of FDA-approved materials. NimoGel™ is designed to be placed directly next to brain arteries after ruptured brain aneurysms or TBI to prevent vasospasm, a type of secondary stroke, and thereby improve patient outcomes. For more information on Edge Therapeutics, please visit www.edgetherapeutics.com.
About the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA)
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority is a state financing and development agency that works to strengthen New Jersey’s economy by retaining and growing businesses through financial assistance, by renewing communities, and by promoting the state’s strategic advantages to attract domestic and international business.