Stem Pharm, a pioneering neurologic drug discovery company, is excited to announce that it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to advance a groundbreaking model of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) for drug discovery. The grant, from the NIH’s National Institute on Aging, will support the development of an innovative stem cell derived 3D neuro-immune organoid to study the role of microglia and neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s Disease, ultimately paving the way for novel drug discovery applications.

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease that affects more than 6 million Americans. Unless new medicines are developed to prevent, slow or cure AD, it is estimated that nearly 16 million Americans will develop AD by 2050. The disease is defined by its neuropathological hallmarks which include amyloid beta peptide plaque deposits, intraneuronal tau tangles and neuronal loss. A key element of the AD process is neuroinflammation. Microglia, the immune cells of the brain, play a critical role in neuroinflammation, and genomic analyses have revealed several AD risk genes are highly expressed in microglia.

The SBIR grant will enable Stem Pharm to accelerate its efforts in understanding the mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease neuroinflammation and developing targeted drug discovery and screening approaches. Using their innovative human neuro-immune organoid platform, Stem Pharm will create a sophisticated model of AD neuroinflammation, and characterize responses between “healthy” and disesase-associated microglia.

“We are honored and excited to receive this SBIR grant from the NIH, which recognizes the potential impact of our work in advancing Alzheimer’s Disease research” said Dr. Steven Visuri, CEO of Stem Pharm. “This funding will allow us to make significant strides in our mission to develop innovative treatments that can change the lives of those affected by neurologic diseases.”