Pieris Pharmaceuticals Inc (OTCBB:PIRS) has received a research grant, in partnership with the University of Melbourne, to further develop its lead drug Anticalin. Anticalin is a novel protein, which is aimed at being used as a therapeutic for immunological diseases. The grant was received by the subsidiary of PIRS in Australia and has been released by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). The NHMRC is considered to be Australia’s leading research funding body. The grant amounts to more than AUS $500,000 and is aimed at developing the drug to be delivered through the respiratory track, so as to treat medical conditions related to it.
The president and CEO of PIRS, Stephen Yoder, stated that today’s announcement would help his company carry on its strategy of bringing the company to a global scale. He also pointed out the fact that now their lead Anticalin drug would be equipped with complementary disease biology capabilities, making it more effective. It should be noted that Pieris Australia already receives 40% cost reimbursement for qualified expenses. The additional research grant would make the process of their advancement almost cost free.
Prof. Gary Anderson, from the University of Melbourne, highlighted the goals of this project. The project would advance towards clinical trials for the drug to be used as a treatment for asthma. The drug has been theorized to block a key protein that integrates signals in type-2 immunity, which has been known to start and sustain asthma. A counter treatment does exist in the form of antibodies that block the same protein. However, the problem is that these anti-bodies cannot be inhaled and hence cannot be delivered directly to the lungs. All of this should be possible with Anticalin and the company would also have the help of lead scientists at the University to make it possible.
Pieris Pharmaceuticals Inc (OTCBB:PIRS) closed at $3.65, gaining 5.8% on April 13. The company currently trades 29.43 million shares in the market, with a 52 week range of $2.60-$3.65.