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Parion Sciences Receives NIH Biodefense Grant to Study Novel Methods for Mitigating Radiation-Induced Lung Injury
Date:12/16/2008

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.


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