Mebias Discovery Receives Grant from NIDA to Advance MEB1170 as an Analgesic Drug Candidate for the Prevention and Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder

Grant to Fund IND Enabling and Phase 1 Clinical Trials

Preclinical Data Demonstrates MEB-1170 Lacks Dangerous Side Effects Including Respiratory Depression and Opioid Abuse Potential

PHILADELPHIAOct. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Mebias Discovery, a biotechnology company focused on drug discovery targeting G-protein coupled receptors, today announced it has secured continued grant funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The additional award of $7.1 million will be used to progress the company’s lead candidate MEB–1170, an analgesic drug candidate for the prevention and treatment of Opioid Use Disorder, through IND filing and Phase 1 clinical trials. This grant is part of the Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM Initiative, or NIH HEAL InitiativeSM, 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.

“Given the overwhelming need for non-addictive pain medications, we are excited to advance our drug candidate towards the clinic,” said Shariff Bayoumy, one of the three founding partners of Mebias Discovery. “We thank NIDA and the NIH for their continuing support and confidence in our drug discovery work in this critical area.”

Preclinical data has demonstrated that MEB–1170 lacks the dangerous side effects of respiratory depression and abuse potential associated with all currently marketed opioids. In preclinical models, MEB–1170 is effective in several analgesia models, does not impact respiratory function, does not produce tolerance to analgesia, does not cause sedation or constipation, and shows no evidence of abuse liability with only minimal withdrawal symptoms.  Together, these studies suggest a possible use of MEB–1170 to treat and prevent Opioid Use Disorder.

Lawrence C. Kuo, PhD, and Brett Tounge, PhD, the other Mebias founders, added, “The opioid crisis has affected millions of Americans. We believe MEB-1170 could redefine the risk-benefit paradigm of opioids and thereby lessen the opioid crisis our nation is facing.”

Mebias Discovery will complete IND–enabling for MEB–1170 in 2020–2021.

About the Opioid Crisis
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the NIH, more than two million Americans abused or were dependent on prescription opioids, and more than 19,000 died of overdoses from prescription opioid pain medications. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, about 130 people in the United States die every day after overdosing on opioids. CDC estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.

About Mebias Discovery
Mebias Discovery is a biotechnology company focused on drug discovery targeting G-protein coupled receptors. Mebias has developed a drug discovery platform that efficiently generates, on its own and through partnerships, drug candidates devoid of dangerous on–target adverse effects associated with many currently marketed drugs. More information can be found at

Contact information:
Mebias Discovery, Inc.
Lawrence C. Kuo, PhD