IACTA Pharmaceuticals Receives $1m Funding for its Preclinical Research of IC 800 – a Novel Treatment for Ocular Pain

IACTA Pharmaceuticals Receives $1m Funding for its Preclinical Research of IC 800 – a Novel Treatment for Ocular Pain

November 01, 2021

The U.S. Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA), a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Defense, has awarded IACTA Pharmaceuticals a $1 million contract to fund the company’s preclinical research of IC 800.

IC 800 is a novel therapy for the topical treatment of ocular pain utilizing the body’s endogenous pain controllers, the enkephalins.

The funding was supported by The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, through the Vision Research Program (VRP), Translational Research Award (TRA), under Award No. W81XWH-21-1-0584.

The award will be utilized to create an eye drop formulation, conduct supportive animal toxicology studies, and prepare and submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the FDA.

Eye injury occurs in approximately 15% of all battlefield trauma. Acute pain, which frequently develops into chronic pain, is a substantial and direct consequence of ocular injuries.

Ocular pain is commonly treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) and steroids, but both have limitations in terms of efficacy and side effects.

IC 800 is a non-opioid dual enkephalinase inhibitor (DENKI) that is being developed as an effective topical ocular analgesic packaged in a single-use, sterile, unit dose applicator which can be easily administered in low resource environments.

Thanks to IACTA’s proprietary DENKI molecule, IC 800 inhibits enzymes that degrade the body’s natural response to pain.

DENKI raises local enkephalin concentrations, which are opioid peptides generated by the body to reduce pain.

When compared to the ocular use profile for opioids like morphine, early preclinical ocular trials revealed similar efficacy and the possibility for greater safety.

IACTA’s development of DENKIs for ocular injury in a military setting is an integral part of IACTA’s strategic intent to develop DENKIs for acute and chronic ocular pain associated with LASIK, cataract and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) surgery, blunt force injury, and dry eye disease.

I am delighted to have the support of the U.S. Department of Defense as IACTA advances IC 800 for the treatment of ocular pain. The U.S. military has an extensive history of research leading to medical advancements that translates to providing ongoing benefits to military and civilian patients,” Damon Burrows, Chief Executive Officer of IACTA Pharmaceuticals, said in a company news release.

The prevalence of ocular pain from battlefield trauma is high and it is alarming among our veterans with more than 15,000 veterans filing new ocular disabilities each year. Our innovative dual enkephalinase inhibitor enhances the body’s natural pain management system, creating the potential for a safe, non-addictive pain management therapy.”