The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently awarded $15.6 million in grants to support research into mucolytic agents discovered by Parion Sciences, a company dedicated to creating novel therapies for pulmonary diseases, such as Cystic Fibrosis among others. The five-year grants were given to The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) and The University of Colorado, Denver (UCD), and will allow the molecules to be eligible for Investigational New Drug (IND) applications.
UNC-CH will start pre-clinical tests on the mucolytic agents, to study its usage for both chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis (CF), using the first year’s $1.46 million worth of funds for the Centers for Advanced Diagnostics and Experimental Therapeutics (CADET), from a total of $7.7 million. UCD received $1.52 million from a total of $7.9 million, for the first year of research, which will study the molecules’ function in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). After the first five years of research, the funds may be renewed for two more years, under annual reviews.
“As a science driven company, it is gratifying to partner with such premier academic institutions like UNC and UCD to successfully secure the competitive NIH Awards,” said the President of Parion Sciences, Paul Boucher. “The NIH support and the combined expertise of the collaborations boost our innovative mucolytic program as we advance through the pre-clinical stages.”
Parion Sciences has been planning to test the novel mucolytic agents as a way of targeting mucus structure and enabling mucus clearance from the lungs. Severe and chronic pulmonary disorders like cystic fibrosis cause adherent secretions that need to be cleared from the lungs, which the scientists expect to do with the compound. If it receives approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agents may be able to improve drugs aimed to help patients suffering from COPD, CF, and IPF.
The company has been dedicated to studying, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics for the improvement of lives of patients suffering with mucosal surface defense deficiencies of the eyes and airways. Parion’s portfolio includes a series of pre-clinical and clinical candidates drugs for these diseases, through the company’s mechanisms of action and approaches.
In addition to NIH, Parion has also been funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, as well as other organizations. Last September, the foundation awarded the company a $3 million donation to help further their research on the genetic and chronic disease. Parion’s CF candidate treatment, P-1037, an epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) inhibitor, designed to stimulate secretion of fluid along the lungs’ mucosal surface, will enter phase II of clinical trials on the beginning of next year and the company is currently enrolling patients.