Funds will be used to develop biomarker strategy for clinical development and patient stratification.

Pieris received a €1 million grant from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to support further development of its preclinical-stage anticancer c-Met inhibitor PRS-110. The funded research will focus on defining a biomarker strategy for use alongside early clinical development, and to help define patient populations who may be suitable for treatment with the drug.

PR-110 has completed in vivo proof-of-concept trials in preclinical models. “We believe we have developed a best in class drug candidate that rivals other advanced targeted therapies addressing the c-Met pathway based on PRS-100’s monovalent mode of target engagement,” comments Stephen Yoder, Pieris CEO.

The firm is developing a pipeline of drugs based on its anticalin protein technology, for diseases including cancer, asthma, and autoimmune-related disorders. Lead anti-VEGF anticalin candidate PRS-050 is in development for the treatment of cancer, and completed its first clinical trial in the latter half of 2011. Also last year, Pieris and a consortium of collaborators received €6 million from the EU’s Framework Seven Program to support development of the firm’s anti-hepcidin candidate PRS-080 for treating multiple types of anemia. The Pieris-led Eurocalin consortium will take PRS-080 through to completion of a Phase Ib clinical trial. 

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