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Tunitas Therapeutics Awarded Phase II SBIR Grant to Advance Asthma Program
Date:6/4/2013

SAN FRANCISCO, June 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Tunitas Therapeutics, Inc., a private company discovering and developing novel human fusion proteins for the treatment of asthma and other allergic diseases, has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID). The three-year, $3 million grant is aimed at advancing Tunitas' first clinical candidate, a member of the GE2 family, into preclinical development. Specifically the grant will support non-human primate efficacy studies, mechanism of action experiments, and discovery of a next-generation molecule. This grant brings Tunitas' NIH-led grant funding to nearly $10 million.

"This SBIR grant is an important step forward in the development of the Tunitas allergy platform," said Nolan Sigal , President and Chief Executive Officer of Tunitas. "Starting with the ground-breaking work of Dr. Andrew Saxon , Tunitas' co-founder and Emeritus Professor at the UCLA-Geffen School of Medicine, we have successfully advanced the GE2 Program to the point where we expect to begin human clinical trials in 2014."

Tunitas' lead compound GE2 is a fusion protein whose dual mechanism of action positions it to be a game-changing therapeutic for patients with moderate-to-severe asthma uncontrolled by conventional bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids, as well as for patients with severe, life-threatening food allergy. GE2 is a direct inhibitor of basophil and mast cell function, the primary cellular mediators of allergic disease, and it suppresses the production of allergic antibodies through its interaction with IgE-producing lymphocytes. GE2 is designed for long-term subcutaneous therapy to be given on an ongoing basis.

Asthma remains a significant unmet medical need in the United States and throughout the world.
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SOURCE Tunitas Therapeutics, Inc.
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