Spyryx Biosciences, Inc. has been granted an award from Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics (CFFT), the non-profit drug discovery and development affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). The funding will be invested in the development of Spyryx’ therapeutic peptides for the treatment of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF).
The company announced in a press release the financial support from the organization, which is expected to accelerate the development of Spyryx’ inhaled peptides, a therapy designed to improve mucus clearance in CF patients. “We appreciate the generous support of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and are looking forward to working closely with them as we advance our program toward clinical development,” said the president and CEO of Spyryx John Taylor.
The lungs of CF patients hyper-absorb sodium and water from the surface of the lung airway due to the epithelial sodium channels (ENaC), a symptom that may cause dehydration of the mucus layers and decreased airway clearance. The inhaled peptides being developed by Spyryx work by deteriorating ENaC and blocking the hyperabsorption. The treatment is expected to normalize the levels of airway fluid volumes in order to restore appropriate mucociliary clearance.
The novel therapeutic approach is not subordinate to any of the genetic mutations that are responsible for the development of the disease, which means that Spyryx anticipates it will be able to treat all patients with CF, despite their mutations. The compounds were already studied in preclinical models that revealed significant capacity to restore airway fluid volumes with a duration of action that may allow once-daily clinic dosing.
Founded in 2013, the privately-held company is developing novel inhaled therapies for patients with severe and obstructive lung conditions through the modulation of a biological mechanism that regulates airway fluid. Spyryx is currently conducting a pre-clinical program focused on the treatment of CF simultaneously with another program focused on the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Last May, the company also secured $18 million in Series A venture capital financing from Canaan Partners, Hatteras Venture Partners and 5AM Ventures. As part of the transaction, Spyryx announced that Tim Shannon, MD, general partner of Canaan, was going to join the Board of Directors as Chairman, and that Christy Shaffer, PhD, managing director of Hatteras Discovery at Hatteras, and Brian Daniels, MD, venture partner of 5AM have also taken Board seats.