AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Xeris"), an Austin-based, biopharmaceutical company developing patient-friendly injectable treatments for diabetes and other diseases, has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant for $678,969 to advance a glucagon mini-dose pen for treatment of mild to moderate hypoglycemia in people with diabetes. This funding represents the initial installment of a Phase I-II Fast Track SBIR grant with the potential for a total award of $1.14M. The grant was awarded September 16th by the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), an institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which funds research on diabetes and other metabolic diseases. This grant augments funding previously committed to this program from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.
This funding will support product development, pre-clinical and clinical activities leveraging the successful formulation programs for Xeris' glucagon rescue pen (G-Pen™) and glucagon for pumps (G-Pump™). This program is in collaboration with co-Principal Investigator, Dr. Morey Haymond, Professor of Pediatrics at the Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Haymond, an internationally-recognized pediatric endocrinologist, authored the seminal paper on the use of glucagon mini-dosing to treat moderate hypoglycemia in children with Type 1 diabetes having gastro-enteritis (upset stomach). For people with diabetes, mild to moderate hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), occurs on a daily basis. A chemically stable, non-aqueous glucagon solution in a multi-dose, variable-dose pen will allow patients and caregivers to accurately treat their hypoglycemia without the use of sugar-based drinks, candy or food. "The Xeris' team is developing a room temperature stable glucagon formulation that can be packaged in a patient-friendly pen. When the pen is used in conjunction with insulin and regular glucose monitoring, it has the potential to allow patients to more accurately maintain normal blood glucose values and avoid the typical glucose highs and lows experienced when patients use insulin alone in management of their diabetes." says Dr. Haymond.
To this end, Xeris' room temperature stable, ready-to-use, non-aqueous glucagon formulation can be commercialized for use in patient-friendly products to prevent hypoglycemia, ranging from emergency auto-injector pens to bi-hormonal pumps with both insulin and glucagon on board.
"Partnering with the NIDDK and Baylor in the development of our mini-dose pen will allow us to further develop this innovative treatment for mild to moderate hypoglycemia that affects the lives of millions of people with diabetes" said Dr. John Kinzell, EVP of Corporate Development at Xeris Pharmaceuticals and co-PI on the grant. "This is a significant unmet medical need and the SBIR funding will accelerate the commercialization of the G-Pen Mini™ to meet this need."
About Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Xeris is an Austin, Texas-based biopharmaceutical company developing patient-friendly injectables for indications in diabetes, epilepsy, and immunology. The company's proprietary formulation and delivery technologies allow for the subcutaneous delivery of highly concentrated, non-aqueous paste and liquid formulations of all drug classes, including small molecules, peptides, proteins, antibodies, and nucleic-acid-based therapeutics. Xeris' proprietary delivery system offers distinct advantages over existing formulations and delivery approaches eliminating reconstitution, simplifying administration and easing the pain of injection for millions of patients and caregivers. For more information please visit the Xeris website at: www.xerispharma.com
Source:Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc.