News | Feb 25, 2019

VA sponsored treatment for Crohn’s disease heads to clinical trial

Promising drug exclusively licensed by Cleveland-based startup Koutif Therapeutics

A new drug formulation has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin a Phase 1 clinical trial for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease.

Cleveland-based Koutif Therapeutics announced the decision last week. The investigational new drug, known as KT-1002, and was exclusively licensed by the pharma startup from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the University of Pittsburgh.

“Bringing KT-1002 to clinic marks a major milestone for Koutif Therapeutics, capping off years of hard work from our scientific founders,” said Baiju R. Shah, chairman of Koutif Therapeutics. “We are excited to move this promising new compound forward in the hopes that it will provide an innovative new treatment option for patients living with Crohn’s Disease and other forms of IBD.”

Corporate executives, innovation directors, and tech scouts are constantly reviewing VA health care research for opportunities like KT-1002.

TechLink, the VA’s tech transfer hub, is at the frontline of corporate engagement, providing information and access to the VA’s intellectual property and providing licensing services at no cost.

“Companies like Koutif are getting a big head start by licensing the VA’s IP so they can quickly move novel, but very real therapies towards the market,” said Gary Bloomer, senior technology manager and VA lead at TechLink.

Bloomer said the VA patent portfolio represents top-notch health care research with benefits to thousands of patients. For example, a VA researcher in Florida has patented a therapy for treating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease with nicotine.

And exploring the portfolio for opportunities like this is easy, he said.

“Through our new partnership with VA, we’ve added hundreds of available technologies to our searchable, sortable, online database,” Bloomer said. “We’re striving to make this easy for the private sector and help the VA bring research advancements for veterans to everyone.”

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