An influx of research at the University of Colorado, Denver (UCD) concerning the use of Parion Science’s mucolytic agents to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), will be made possible by a $7.9 million-total grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). According to a press release from Parion, the NIH awarded a Centers for Advanced Diagnostics and Experimental Therapeutics in Lung Disease (CADET) grant to laboratories at the university to be used over the span of five years.
“The NIH support and the combined expertise of the collaborations boost our innovative mucolytic program as we advance through the pre-clinical stages,” said Paul Boucher, President of Parion Sciences, in the press release.
As a development stage biopharmaceutical company, Parion is in the process of developing and commercializing a number of investigational new drugs (INDs) indicated to improve and extend the lives of patients living with deficient innate mucosal surface defenses in the eyes and airways. The specific molecules that will be investigated using funds from these grants are novel mucolytic agents. The molecules specifically target mucus and facilitate its clearance from the lungs. This is needed in the context of IPF, as acute and chronic pulmonary disorders create the need to clear adherent secretions from the lungs.
Parion Sciences is also celebrating the news of a second, $7.7 million-total CADET grant awarded at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), to conduct pre-clinical research using Parion’s mucolytic agents for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis. “As a science driven company, it is gratifying to partner with such premier academic institutions like University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) and UCD to successfully secure the competitive awards,” said Boucher.
Recently, IPF has benefitted from two high-profile FDA drug approvals for Boehringer Ingelheim’s Ofev and Intermune’s Esbriet — both of which are the first drugs approved to specifically treat the disease. While morale remains high in the wake of these announcements, a cure for IPF remains elusive, and efforts such as the research project at UCD are needed to continue to advance next-generation therapies toward an eventual cure.