Dignify Therapeutics has been awarded a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant in the amount of $159,000 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The RTP drug development company is developing novel pharmaceutical treatments for bladder and bowel dysfunction which will significantly improve the quality-of-life for individuals that rely on bladder catheters and bowel programs for voiding.

The company estimates the worldwide market potential for its lead product, DTI-100 for people with spinal cord injury, will be approximately $400 million annually and is believed to be the only company developing pharmaceuticals to provide a rapid, on-demand, drug-induced voiding as a therapeutic strategy.

Dignify Therapeutics President and Chief Scientific Officer Karl Thor said affirmation by leading scientists who serve on the NIH review committees provides an important validation of the innovative approach that the company is developing to treat this severe unmet medical need. These funds, he pointed out, will support the ongoing development of DTI-100, through the IND approval process and into clinical trials.

“This SBIR award, together with future non-dilutive funding,” said Thor, “will augment the company’s current efforts to raise up to $3 million from private investors to develop DTI-100 through Phase II clinical trials.”

Founded by a team of serial entrepreneurs who are internationally-recognized scientists and clinicians, Dignify Therapeutics’ mission is to provide safe and effective, practical and convenient, “on-demand” pharmaceutical agents to treat bladder and bowel voiding dysfunctions.

Funding to the company has been provided by the N.C. Biotechnology Center. Dignify is also a member of the Blackstone Entrepreneur Network and is located at the First Flight Venture Center in Research Triangle Park.