Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics (CFFT) has agreed to provide Pulmatrix with up to $1.4 million in up front and milestone-dependent funding to support Phase Ib clinical development of the latter’s inhaled cystic fibrosis drug candidate iCALM™ (PUR118). Through the collaboration Pulmatrix will also receive access to the expertise of leading cystic fibrosis academic researchers, along with research resources. CFFT is the non-profit drug discovery and development affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
“This is a tremendous vote of confidence in our clinical program and gives us the ability to accelerate our activities as we seek to develop a novel treatment to meet the unmet needs of patients with CF,” remarks Robert Clarke, Ph.D., Pulmatrix CEO. “Longer term, we see PUR118 as a perfect complement to the existing CF therapies to provide even better patient outcomes.”
Pulmatrix’ iCALM pipeline comprises combinations of cationic salts designed to trigger multiple mechanisms that harness the body’s natural host defense and immune response in the airway to reduce inflammation, prevent and treat respiratory infections, and prevent acute exacerbations in patients with chronic inflammatory airway diseases. Its lead dry powder iCALM drug is the first clinical candidate based upon the firm’s iSPERSE inhaled dry powder delivery platform. Pulmatrix believes the iCALM product could have potentially broad applications in the treatment of respiratory diseases such as COPD, asthma, and cystic fibrosis and a range of respiratory infections including influenza, ventilator associated pneumonia, and respiratory syncytial virus,
PUR118 is currently undergoing Phase I studies in patients with cystic fibrosis and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Following completion of the Phase I safety and tolerability study in CF patients Pulmatrix plans to start a Phase Ib clinical trial in CF patients to evaluate mucociliary clearance velocity as an endpoint of PUR118 therapy.