Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics Inc. (CFFT) has awarded biopharmaceutical company Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a $3 million grant to help accelerate the development and clinical study of the company’s new pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy. The investigative therapeutic option called Sollpura (liprotamase) is expected to be beneficial for patients who suffer from cystic fibrosis (CF).
CFFT, which is the non-profit affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF), has granted the funding to Anthera in order to accelerate the process and see to it this new treatment for CF becomes available on the market soon. Sollpura is being investigated as a soluble, stable and non-porcine enzyme therapy, expected to increase the levels of digestive enzyme or alleviate Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI), which is commonly associated with health conditions such as CF.
The harmful buildup of mucus in the digestive tract impedes the pancreas from aiding digestion and results in the abnormal absorption of fat and nutrients. Approximately 90% of CF patients need to include pancreatic enzymes in their daily regimen and take them with every meal or snack ingested so that they can absorb vital nutrients.
“We are excited about the possibility of offering an alternative pancreatic enzyme therapy to people with CF,” stated the president and CEO of Anthera Paul F. Truex, in a press release. “Support from Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics speaks to the importance of developing liprotamase and the organization’s extensive clinical trials network will be indispensable as we advance this therapy.”
The company is now planning on initiating a phase 3 registration trial to analyze the soluble version of liprotamase during the third quarter of the year, as well as to complete the clinical and regulatory activities required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) so that they can file a New Drug Application (NDA). In addition to CF, the company aims to improve the lives of patients who are living with other severe and life-threatening conditions, such as systemic lupus erythematosus or IgA nephropathy.
The CFF is focused on supporting research projects working on effective CF treatments or a cure for the disease. Most recently the foundation also provided a grant to support research at Dayton Children’s Hospital Cystic Fibrosis Center as part of the largest CF clinical trial in the world, which enabled the hospital to hire a research coordinator and increase enrollment in studies.