The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) is awarding Synspira Therapeutics up to $14 million in additional funding to support the development of two therapies to address complications of cystic fibrosis (CF), namely malabsorption and pulmonary infections.
“Despite the approval of new treatments for the underlying cause of CF, many people will continue to need therapies to address challenges such as pancreatic insufficiency and pulmonary complications,” Michael Boyle, MD, president and CEO of the CFF, said in a press release.
“We are hopeful that these novel products will someday help address some of the persistent medical challenges that are still faced by people who are now living longer with CF,” Boyle added.
The new funding will advance preclinical development and early stage clinical trials of SNSP003, an oral non-porcine enzyme replacement therapy designed to treat malabsorption syndrome and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI).
Malabsorption develops when there is a defect in the digestion and absorption of macronutrients such as fat, protein and carbohydrates. These digestive complications develop early, and represent a significant unmet medical need in patients with CF.
EPI affects up to 90% of CF patients. It occurs when thick, sticky pancreatic secretions block the release of enzymes needed to break down food for digestion.
Patients with pancreatic insufficiency require porcine-based pancreatic enzyme replacement therapies. However, this treatment usually does not eliminate malabsorption completely, and can be associated with unwanted symptoms.
The additional CFF funding will also allow Synspira to advance the clinical development of SNSP113, which the company reports to be in Phase 2 trials, as a potential inhaled therapy for pulmonary infections and complications in CF patients.
People with CF are susceptible to infections from bacteria, viruses, and fungi because of the thick and viscous mucus that accumulates in their lungs. Consequently, they often develop antibiotic-resistant pulmonary infections that lead to inflammation, lung damage, and poorer lung function.
“This investment and development collaboration will enable Synspira to complete preclinical and initial clinical development for SNSP003 while also advancing SNSP113 through late stage clinical studies,” Robert Gallotto, president and CEO of Synspira, said in a separate press release.
“Our many longstanding collaborations with the CF Foundation underscores our commitment and mutual sense of urgency as we work to bring life-changing therapies to people living with CF and other serious rare disorders.”
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