2010 UIC Inventor of the Year, Dr. David Carley, To Lead $5M NHLBI Grant
Dr. David Carley, Professor of Biobehavioral Health Science at UIC's College of Nursing and the Director of the UIC Center for Narcolepsy, Sleep and Health Research, is the Principal Investigator on a recently awarded $5 million, three year, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) grant to study the potential of the cannabimimetic drug, dronabinol, to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Dr. Carley, and his long time collaborator Dr. Miodrag Radulovacki, were honored as the 2010 UIC Co-Inventors of the Year, in part for their work in studying and developing novel pharmacotherapies to treat sleep related breathing disorders such as OSA.
The NHLBI grant will fund two important projects:
- The first project will be a randomized, placebo-controlled parallel groups, proof-of-concept clinical trial of dronabinol in patients with OSA. Subjects will be randomized to receive either placebo or dronabinol for a period of 6 weeks with the goal of establishing the safety, tolerability and therapeutic efficacy of dronabinol in OSA. Co-primary efficacy endpoints will include: reduction in apnea/hypopnea index (AHI) and improved subjective and objective daytime alertness at the end of treatment. This trial, entitled PACE for Pharmacotherapy of Apnea by Cannabimimetic Enhancement, is the first NIH-sponsored multi-site drug trial for obstructive sleep apnea.
- The second project will look at the receptor targets and potential mechanisms of action by which cannabimimetic drugs may reduce apnea propensity and also examine the potential mechanisms by which such drugs can lower blood pressure. The hope is that these two projects will provide critical evidence regarding the potential efficacy and mechanism of action for the cannabimimetic treatment of OSA, and lead the way to the first ever pharmacotherapeutic treatment for this chronic disease estimated to affect upwards of 5-10% of the US population.
Co-Investigators on this grant are from UIC Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and the School of Public Health as well as from Northwestern University’s Department of Neurology.
Dr. Carley is also Chief Scientific Officer and serves on the Board of Directors at Pier Pharmaceuticals, a UIC startup formerly known as SteadySleep Rx. Pier Pharmaceuticals is looking to develop a low-dose, proprietary formulation of dronabinol to improve the clinical symptoms of sleep apnea in patients with OSA.
DR. CARLEY'S TECHNOLOGIES