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GEN News Highlights : Dec 16, 2008

Parion Obtains $850K Biodefense Grant

NIH funding will go toward investigating its candidate for mitigating radiation-induced lung injury.

The NIH has given Parion Sciences over $850,000 through a biodefense grant. The money was awarded to support the development of treatments that mitigate pulmonary injury arising from inhalation of radioactive particles.

Parion will utilize the funding to evaluate whether its lead compound, CF-552, combined with hypertonic saline can increase removal of inhaled radioactive particles from the lungs.  In previous clinical studies, CF-552 increased clearance of nonhazardous, radio-labeled particles from the lungs of healthy volunteers, according to the firm.

Parion will leverage its radiation and bioterrorism countermeasures platform. A portion of the research will be conducted by the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

“This award represents an important step to help us demonstrate the capacity of our novel ENaC inhibitor technology to treat radiation and bioterror threats,” notes Paul Boucher, senior director, finance and business. ENaC inhibitors are therapeutic agents that maintain and stimulate hydration on the body's mucosal surfaces including those on the lung, mouth, nose, eye, and gastrointestinal tract. 

Maintaining the hydration of mucosal airway surfaces addresses the fundamental problem that produces infections in both acquired and genetic forms of chronic lung disease, Parion explains.

CF-552 is also being investigated as a treatment for dry mouth associated with Sjogren's syndrome in a Phase II program.  In October Kainos agreed to pay Parion up to $25 million in support of this candidate.