Trevena Inc., a leader in the discovery of G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) biased ligands announced today that it was awarded a $7.65 million Grand Opportunity (GO) Grant by the office of the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This grant will further fund Trevena’s work to identify and characterize functionally selective biased ligands for a wide range of GPCRs. It will also enable the company to make unique tool molecules available to research collaborators to accelerate and expand the role of key signaling pathways in biological processes. The funds were provided to the NIH as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.
“Trevena is discovering and developing the next generation of GPCR-targeted drugs. Unlike previous GPCR therapies, our proprietary approach enables us to identify biased ligands for individual GPCRs and discover and develop highly differentiated drugs that can precisely activate selective signaling pathways,” said Maxine Gowen, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Trevena. “This grant supports not only Trevena’s work in identifying and characterizing biased ligands for important GPCRs, but enables us to share these findings with leading researchers in the field to advance the understanding of GPCR biology. We are extremely excited about this prospect and look forward to these collaborations.”
Trevena is focused on developing a linked portfolio of GPCR ligands that are “biased” toward either activating or blocking specific signaling pathways mediated through individual GPCRs. Unlike traditional, broad GPCR approaches, the enhanced focus and specificity of these biased ligands for specific targets enables Trevena to engage only the desired signaling pathway and deliver optimal therapeutic effects - without many of the unwanted effects seen with less selective GPCR approaches. Trevena is linking its proprietary screening platform - the Advanced Biased Ligand Explorer, or ABLE™ - with its growing pipeline of discovery programs in indications with significant unmet medical need to bring a novel and comprehensive approach to biased ligand drug development.