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Traverse Biosciences hopes Larta set-up will boost animal health work

US company Traverse Biosciences is aiming to support its research into animal inflammatory diseases with a new partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

The firm has been accepted into the NIH's noine-month Commercialization Accelerator Program (CAP), which will help Traverse boost its work in the human health area. However, the company told Animal Pharm the collaboration could also have an animal health benefit.

The CAP initiative is hosted in the Los Angeles-based Larta Institute. Traverse's founder and chief executive Joseph Scaduto said he is hopeful the Larta Institute may also be able to apply its resources and contacts to the animal health aspects of the company's work.

The Larta Institute is a non-profit organization that claims to have transformed more than 10,000 innovations into commercially successful enterprises since it was formed in 1993. While the organization deals with many differing sectors, it has a focus on the agriculture market. It has previously partnered with Zoetis and Nestlé Purina Pet Care, while it currently has Cargill as a sponsor.

Traverse targets periodontal disease

Stony Brook, New York-based Traverse is developing TRB-N0224, which it envisions as the first US FDA-approved, once-daily, edible prescription medication for the prevention and control of canine periodontal disease.

According to the firm: "TRB-N0224 acts to resolve inflammation through pleiotropic modulation of pathologically-elevated matrix metalloproteinases and pro-inflammatory mediators. TRB-N0224 has demonstrated efficacy in treating periodontal disease in several laboratory rodent models, with no observed toxicity at over 15 times the therapeutic dose.

"TRB-N0224 is synthesized in a scalable, two-reaction process from inexpensive and readily-available raw materials."

Mr Scaduto said animal health "remains a key aspect of our go-to-market strategy". In 2015, Traverse signed an agreement with Aratana Therapeutics to develop a candidate for the treatment and control of periodontal disease in dogs and cats.

Canine periodontal disease affects around 80% of dogs by the age of three. The highest incidence of the disease is in smaller breeds and older dogs. 

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