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Our History

Lohocla Research: Past to Present

Dr. Boris Tabakoff founded Lohocla Research Corporation in 1983 in Chicago, Illinois in order to translate his basic science discoveries to the clinic. The initial goal was the translation of research findings to the problem of protecting individuals from the damaging effects of alcohol, which includes the development of

Because Dr. Tabakoff joined the federal government as the Scientific Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, there was a hiatus in Lohocla Research’s investigational endeavors. After eight years of government service, Dr. Tabakoff returned to private life and resumed the development of Lohocla Research in 1993. The company quickly undertook new research ventures, including the development of genetic tests for predisposition to depression and alcohol addiction and the development of medications for chronic pain, addiction, and craving.

Lohocla Research used rational drug design to identify therapeutic targets important for the etiology of alcohol abuse/addiction, and chronic pain. In both of these conditions, maladaptive changes occur in neural systems. A key insight is that targeting a single neuronal molecule to control the complex physiological systems that underlie addiction and chronic pain can result in limited efficacy. These physiological systems are represented by network models in which a partial inhibition of more than one target can be more efficient than the complete inhibition of a single target. Using computationally based, rational drug design approaches, we originally designed a molecular scaffold as the foundation for a series of molecules that would be useful in preventing alcohol withdrawal induced nervous system hyperexcitability and damage. One of these multi-target molecules has been found to reduce alcohol consumption by alcohol-dependent individuals (reduces alcohol relapse), and another controls pain that is a result of maladaptive consequences of nerve injury without eliminating normal, protective pain responses.

An estimated 80 million Americans drink alcohol at hazardous or harmful levels, and approximately 18 million individuals are alcohol dependent. In 2011, it was estimated that chronic pain affects at least 100 million adults in the United States. Lohocla Research is pursuing a strategy to meet the treatment needs of these patients. Dr. Tabakoff’s continuing research interest has focused on the molecular and genetic mechanisms of alcohol and drug abuse as well as the effective treatment of chronic pain. Our related research has resulted in several patents.

In addition, Lohocla Research has recently discovered derivatives of the chronic pain medication that may be useful in preventing cancer metastasis.

Currently, Lohocla Research employs seven scientists and administrators, and its research laboratories and offices are housed in the Bioscience Park adjoining the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado.

Lohocla Research’s current scientific investigations are supported by an NIH medications-development grant for treatment of alcohol addiction (lead compound “Nezavist”) from the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and a cooperative joint grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders And Stroke (NINDS) to develop the company’s lead compound Kindolor, a chronic pain and opiate-sparing medication.