U.S. DOD Funds Research on Hemorrhage-Stopping Drug

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The U.S. Defense Department has awarded $750,000 to UTHSC and Greystone Medical Group to complete pre-clinical research of a drug to treat hemorrhagic shock.

The U.S. Defense Department has awarded $750,000 to Greystone Medical Group and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) to complete pre-clinical research of a drug to treat hemorrhagic shock.

Initial research shows the compound invented by Bob Moore, II, PhD, assistant professor at UTHSC, and licensed to Memphis-based biotech company Greystone Medical Group, protects the body’s vital organs during hemorrhage by reversing critically low blood pressure.

More than half of all combat deaths are due to rapid loss of blood within minutes of wounding, and approximately 150,000 Americans bleed to death each year as a result of trauma accidents.

The latest $750,000 DOD grant builds on results from an initial $98,000 DOD research grant. The grants, called Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grants, are administered by DOD to small business and nonprofit research institution partners that are working to commercialize innovative research. The University of Tennessee Research Foundation, which promotes and manages research and technology commercialization throughout the statewide university, worked with Greystone in pursuing the grant.

The awarding of the second grant to UTHSC and Greystone marks the first time a drug development effort in Memphis has received STTR Phase II funding from the DOD.

“We are honored and thrilled to receive these funds that will allow us to continue to confirm that this research is truly revolutionary,” said Bob Palmer, Director of Technology Transfer for the University of Tennessee Research Foundation. “This is a significant step for us, both in this research and as a university. We are thankful to the DOD for its support.”

UTHSC Chancellor Bill Rice said, “This research holds great promise and has potential to save thousands of lives each year. It is researchers like Dr. Moore and his work with Greystone that make discoveries to improve the future of healthcare. I am so pleased for this additional funding to help expedite this research from the laboratory to the patient care setting.”

Assuming the successful completion of research and development, Greystone plans to present the technology to regulators and begin the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process.

Greystone’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Greg Pilant said, “The Defense Department’s decision to award STTR Phase II funding validates the potential of this discovery, moves us closer to bringing this drug to market and moves us closer to saving thousands of lives each year.”

“Just as NASA’s technology from the space program benefits civilian and military life — from freeze-dried meals to sunglasses — the drug sponsored by Greystone has similar vast potential,” said Dr. Moore.

“Not only does this have great promise in treating the effects of severe blood loss, but, much like NASA’s technology, this therapy and forms of it will have applications in a number of disease states,” he says. “This is very exciting news for us, and I’m thankful to the Department of Defense for investing in this very promising therapy.”

“One critical application for the drug is on the battlefield, where combat medics operate with limited capability,” said Dr. Moore. “In even the most adverse conditions, the drug would provide a portable, quick method for medics to stabilize the patient’s condition and save their life by stabilizing the victim’s hemodynamic profile,” he said.

The award for the drug to treat hemorrhagic shock represents the second funded research project conducted by UTHSC and Greystone targeted at the development of novel therapies for combat casualty care. UTHSC and Greystone also received a $1 million Congressional earmark in August 2004 to research and develop a hemostatic drug that stops blood loss immediately when applied to a bleeding wound by causing rapid constriction of blood vessels. The therapeutic interventions are being developed to treat the primary causes of death on the battle field, i.e. severe hemorrhage and the resulting shock associated with hemorrhage. In combination, the research will provide the field medic with the essential tools for rapidly stabilizing a combat victim and extending the window for field evacuation.

Greystone Medical Group is a privately held international biotech development company with operations in the U.S. and Europe. The Company currently manufactures and sells advanced wound care products for treating and closing chronic wounds associated with systemic conditions including diabetes. The company maintains its headquarters office and manufacturing facilities in Memphis, Tennessee and its European headquarters, through its subsidiary Dermagenics, B.V. in Kaatsheuvel, The Netherlands.