January 14, 2013
Pulmokine Inc. has been awarded a phase II SBIR grant from the NIH to develop a novel PDGF receptor inhibitor as a treatment for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. The grant will fund pre-clinical lead optimization and formulation of the compound. The small molecule compounds licensed to Pulmokine by YM Biosciences have defined mechanisms of action, and based on pre-clinical efficacy in animal models are believed to inhibit key processes in PAH disease development and progression.
Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) is a rare but serious disease that is characterized by constriction of the pulmonary arterioles, the small blood vessels that carry absorbed oxygen from the lungs into the circulation. PAH is associated with a high morbidity and mortality with the average survival after diagnosis of three years for untreated patients. While a number of therapies are now available, the disease still progresses and there is a need for improved treatments. The worldwide incidence of primary PAH is estimated to be 5-6 per million of population, while PAH secondary to other diseases has a higher incidence. For example, the incidence of PAH associated with systemic sclerosis is estimated to be 11-47 per million.
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program is a US-federally funded grant administered by the US National Institute of Health (NIH). The program’s aims are to support small business in the development of new technologies.
Larry Zisman MD FACC, CEO and CSO of Pulmokine said, “We have strong pre-clinical efficacy data that show a novel PDGF receptor inhibitor, when delivered directly to the lungs by inhalation, significantly decreases pulmonary pressures and pathologic findings of PAH in animal models of the disease. This phase II award from the NIH will allow us to continue development of our lead candidates.”
Pulmokine is a privately held biopharmaceutical company. The mission of Pulmokine is to develop new treatments for pulmonary hypertension and related disorders. Pulmokine has an exclusive license from Gilead to develop a portfolio of PDGFR inhibitors for PAH. Funding sources include equity investment and NIH grants.
Pulmokine pursues in-licensing and partnership opportunities related to pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases. We also provide fee for service work for pre-clinical efficacy studies. Our capabilities include measurement of pulmonary function, telemetry pressure monitoring, measurement of pressure volume loops, and drug delivery by inhalation.
In addition Pulmokine is developing a novel class of kinase inhibitors through in silico modeling and in vitro screening to treat asthma and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.