The North Carolina Biotechnology Center has awarded two loans in two years totaling $300,000 to help propel a young Research Triangle Park drug company with a unique product line: Dignify Therapeutics.

Dignify’s lead product, DTI-100, is believed to be the only medication ever designed specifically to provide rapid, on-demand, drug-induced voiding as a therapeutic strategy. The object is to provide a form of bladder and bowel control to people with spinal injury, spina bifida, and other neurological conditions.

NCBiotech recently awarded Dignify a $250,000 Small Business Research Loan to support the drug’s preclinical development. The company plans to take it into Phase I clinical trials in 2015. The Center also awarded a $50,000 Company Inception Loan to help bootstrap Dignify in 2013.

Dignify’s novel pharmaceutical treatments for bladder and bowel dysfunction offer the potential to significantly improve the quality of life for people who rely on bladder catheters and bowel programs for voiding. The company estimates the worldwide market potential for DTI-100 for people with spinal cord injury will be approximately $400 million annually. Dignify is believed to be the only company developing pharmaceuticals targeting this therapeutic strategy.

“We are very appreciative of this award and continued support from NCBiotech,” said Dignify CEO Benny Ward. “Our team continues to make great progress as we move down a clear development path to the DTI-100 Phase I clinical study next year. This loan provides continued positive momentum and credibility to achieving this significant milestone for Dignify.”

Besides the NCBiotech loans, Dignify has received funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Dignify, a member of the Blackstone Entrepreneur Network, is located at the First Flight Venture Center in RTP.

Note: Veteran journalist Jim Shamp is director of public relations for the N.C. Biotechnology Center.

(C) N.C. Biotech Center