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On Monday, shares of lipid-based therapeutics company Lpath Inc. are skyrocketing, up over 58% in afternoon trading after the company announced that it has been awarded a $1.45 million two-year grant by the Defense Medical Research and Development Program (DMRDP), which is an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

The grant will help support Lpath’s study of Lpathomab for the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI). The company is working with Prof. David Yeomans, Ph.D. of Stanford University’s Department of Anesthesia on the study; he will serve as the co-principal investigator.

Lpath's founder and other co-principal investigator on the TBI project Roger Sabbadini, Ph.D. said that "Lpath is grateful to the DoD for recognizing the significant value of funding further development of Lpathomab. We believe our novel approach of targeting bioactive lipids holds great promise, and this is validated by the financial commitment from the DoD's DMRDP."

The company recently completed a Phase 1a double-blind, placebo-controlled, single ascending dose study in order to evaluate both the safety and tolerability of Lpathomab in healthy volunteers. Overall, the treatment was well tolerated at all doses tested, with no serious events or toxicities observed.

Dario Paggiarino, M.D., Lpath's senior vice president and chief development officer noted that "Now that Lpath has successfully demonstrated safety and tolerability of Lpathomab in healthy volunteers, we anticipate testing Lpathomab in patients with neuropathic pain. The preclinical demonstration of Lpathomab's potential efficacy in TBI pain could support another important indication for further investigation."

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