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Parion Sciences Receives NIH Biodefense Grant to Study Novel Methods for Mitigating Radiation-Induced Lung Injury

December 16, 2008

DURHAM, N.C., Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ — Parion Sciences, Inc., a
privately-held, development-stage pharmaceutical company dedicated to treating
diseases resulting from the failure of the body’s mucosal defenses, today
announced that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have awarded the
company a biodefense grant in excess of $850,000.

The purpose of the grant is to advance the development of safe and
effective medical treatments that mitigate pulmonary injury arising from
inhalation of radioactive particles using Parion’s Radiation and Bioterrorism
Countermeasures Platform. Parion will utilize the funding in a series of
studies to evaluate the benefits of their lead compound, CF-552, combined with
hypertonic saline, to increase removal of inhaled radioactive particles from
the lungs. In previous clinical studies, treatment with CF-552 increased
clearance of non-hazardous, radio-labeled particles from the lungs of healthy
volunteers, as compared to vehicle alone. A portion of the research will be
conducted by the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI), a
not-for-profit research institute located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“This award represents an important step to help us demonstrate the
capacity of our novel ENaC inhibitor technology to treat radiation and
bio-terror threats,” said Paul Boucher, Senior Director, Finance and Business
at Parion. “We look forward to demonstrating the utility of our compound to
provide a novel medical countermeasure for the prevention of radiation-induced
lung injury following a nuclear incident.”

ENaC inhibitors are therapeutic agents that maintain and stimulate
hydration on the body’s mucosal surfaces, including those on the lung, mouth,
nose, eye and gastrointestinal tract. Maintaining the hydration of mucosal
airway surfaces addresses the fundamental problem that produces infections in
both acquired and genetic forms of chronic lung disease, such as chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis.

The studies will be supported by Grant Number RC1-AI-081297, funded by the
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National
Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and
Development Authority (BARDA). The award was made using authorities granted
to the NIH by the Project BioShield Act of 2004. The content of this press
release is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily
represent the official views of the NIAID, BARDA, or the NIH.

About Parion Sciences

Based in Durham, NC, Parion Sciences is a privately-held,
development-stage pharmaceutical company that is leveraging its proprietary
small molecule chemistry and epithelial biology expertise to discover and
develop an innovative pipeline of therapies for diseases resulting from the
failure of the body’s mucosal defenses, including chronic obstructive
pulmonary disorder (COPD), cystic fibrosis, bronchiactesis and Sjogren’s
syndrome. Parion’s lead product candidate, CF-552, is currently in Phase II
clinical development for the treatment dry mouth associated with Sjogren’s
syndrome. The company is also collaborating with Gilead Sciences on the
development of drug candidates for pulmonary diseases. For more information,
please visit www.parion.com.

About Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute

Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute is a not-for-profit research
institution founded in 1947 by Dr. William Randolph Lovelace II. It is one of
the nation’s largest independent research institutions and the only one
focused solely on respiratory health. Scientists at LRRI are committed to
eradicating respiratory diseases through research aimed at understanding their
causes and biological mechanisms, eliminating exposures to causal agents, and
developing more effective treatments. For more information see www.lrri.org.

SOURCE Parion Sciences


Source: newswire