1910 Genetics Receives NIH Phase I STTR Grant for Discovery of Novel Non-Opioid Drugs for Chronic Pain

NINDS and NIH HEAL Initiative award company ~$550,000 to apply AI-driven drug design and biological automation for the discovery of a new class of pain therapies

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–1910 Genetics, a biotechnology company integrating artificial intelligence (AI), computation and biological automation to improve drug development, has been awarded a ~$550,000 Phase I STTR grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant, received from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) as part of the Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative, supports the discovery of a novel small molecule drug that is safe and effective at blocking the protein product of a non-opioid gene for the treatment of chronic pain.

Chronic pain, which affects 50 million Americans, is a serious health problem and a key underlying cause of the opioid crisis. Opioids, commonly prescribed by clinicians to help patients manage chronic pain, pose life-threatening risk of misuse and abuse, addiction and overdose. To date, there are no therapeutic alternatives to opioids for treating chronic pain.

“Our goal is to address the lack of non-opioid pain therapies by using our technology to discover and develop a new class of safe and effective treatments for chronic pain, and we are honored that the National Institutes of Health have recognized the potential of our approach with this larger than typical Phase I grant,” said Jen Nwankwo, Ph.D., 1910 Genetics’ Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “We have already demonstrated that our integrated approach, which combines AI-driven drug design with biological automation, is able to significantly shorten the typical drug discovery time from initial concept to novel lead compounds by many months.”

1910 Genetics’ combination of computational drug design with wet lab automation enables rapid development of high-value biological datasets, purposefully built for machine learning, which power the company’s AI platforms to accelerate drug discovery. In the program supported by this grant, the company has identified and validated a novel gene whose inhibition has been shown to ameliorate pain by mechanisms different from those addressed by opioid drugs. After applying BAGEL©, the company’s AI-driven generative chemistry platform, 1910 Genetics discovered a novel, small molecule drug candidate that is potent at blocking the protein product of this non-opioid gene.

The company’s design -> make -> test cycle was completed within two months, significantly faster than the more than 12-month cycle achieved by traditional drug discovery approaches. 1910 Genetics now aims to rapidly advance this lead compound series to the lead optimization stage, which the company expects to complete within 12 months, as opposed to the three years it typically takes using traditional approaches to lead optimization.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R41NS118992. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

About the NIH HEAL Initiative

The Helping to End Addiction Long-term℠ Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative℠, is an aggressive, trans-NIH effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis. Launched in April 2018, the initiative is focused on improving prevention and treatment strategies for opioid misuse and addiction, and enhancing pain management. For more information, visit: https://heal.nih.gov.

About 1910 Genetics

1910 Genetics integrates AI, computation and biological automation to accelerate the design of small molecule and protein therapeutics. The company blends AI-driven drug design with biological wet lab automation to increase productivity and decrease failure rates across the pharmaceutical R&D process. Using its multi-platform drug discovery engines – ELVIS™ and ROSALYND™ – 1910 Genetics can generate more novel drug candidates, shorten the timeline, cut operational costs and increase the probability of success compared to traditional pharmaceutical methods. 1910 Genetics’ therapeutic area-agnostic, end-to-end technology powers the full length of early drug discovery – from novel hit discovery to hit to lead, and lead optimization. 1910 Genetics is currently applying its technology to drug discovery programs in several areas including, but not limited to, neuroscience, oncology, immunology and infectious diseases. The company was founded in 2018 and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. To learn more about 1910 Genetics, visit www.1910genetics.com.


Michelle Linn

Bioscribe, Inc.