Luna Innovations Incorporated (NASDAQ:LUNA) has been awarded a $2.1 million three-year contract from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a novel therapeutic for infectious diseases. Bacterial, viral and parasitic intracellular pathogens, organisms that sustain infection by living inside a person's cells, use the cell’s signaling pathways to establish and maintain infection. Luna has previously demonstrated that a protein involved in cell-to-cell communication called ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK), is critical for intracellular pathogens to maintain infection. For this program, Luna will advance a new class of anti-infective therapeutics, based upon RSK inhibition, to interfere with the ability of the pathogen to establish infection and survive inside the host organism. Anti-infective therapeutics are especially critical due to the potential to weaponize intracellular pathogens as an agent of biowarfare.
“The significance of the RSK pathway and the first RSK inhibitor compounds were initially discovered by scientists at the University of Virginia (UVA). This new program gives us the opportunity to advance our RSK inhibitor technology to the next level and address critical preclinical milestones,” said Kent Murphy, Chairman and CEO of Luna Innovations.
“Luna exclusively licensed the technology and has worked closely with UVA and other collaborators to better understand the RSK pathway and develop novel RSK inhibitors. In addition to the treatment of infectious diseases, the RSK pathway and novel RSK inhibitors have shown early promise for treatment of other conditions such as cancer and arthritis,” said Jeff Smith, Senior Research Scientist and Principal Investigator on this program.
About Luna Innovations:
Luna Innovations Incorporated (www.lunainnovations.com) develops and manufactures new-generation products for the healthcare, telecommunications, energy and defense markets. Our products are used to measure, monitor, protect and improve critical processes in the markets we serve. Through its disciplined commercialization business model, Luna has become a recognized leader in transitioning science to solutions. Luna is headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia.
Forward Looking Statements:
This release includes information that constitutes “forward-looking statements” made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding, but not limited to: Luna’s ability to advance a new class of anti-infective therapeutics, based upon RSK inhibition, Luna’s ability to advance the RSK inhibitor technology including by meeting preclinical milestones, the promise of the RSK pathway and RSK inhibitors to treat medical conditions, including cancer and arthritis. Statements that describe the Company’s business strategy, goals, prospects, opportunities, outlook, plans or intentions are also forward looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including risks and uncertainties set forth in the company’s periodic reports and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Such filings are available at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov, and at the company’s website at http://www.lunainnovations.com. The statements made in this release are based on information available to the company as of the date of this release and Luna Innovations undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this release.
Luna Innovations Incorporated