Pantherics Incorporated ( received a $255,841 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, to advance development of a fundamentally novel anti-inflammatory drug, with lead clinical indications in asthma/COPD, dermatology, and gastrointestinal disorders. The first-in-class drug, PI301, was discovered by researchers at the Milwaukee Institute for Drug Discovery at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (WI) and Columbia University (NY). With the SBIR funding, PI301 will be developed further by Pantherics to validate an optimal oral formulation, a key step before advancing to human clinical testing.

Dr. Alexander Arnold, Pantherics’ Chief Scientific Officer, commented, “PI301 is an exciting new approach to control inflammation without the adverse effects of steroids and other common antiinflammatory drugs, which can be important in several diseases. A key innovation is the development of PI301 for asthma, where a single oral drug could be used to control two disease hallmarks, lung inflammation and bronchospasm, without the use of common inhalers.”

The SBIR is a highly competitive program that encourage domestic small businesses to engage in innovative, high-potential research and development. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR funding enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provide the incentive to profit from its commercialization. Dr. Douglas Stafford, Pantherics’ President notes, “The NIH/SBIR funding gives us important scientific and commercial validation and support to advance our lead therapeutic candidate to first in human testing.”

Click here to read the full article.