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SiteOne Therapeutics Announces $1.73M Grant from NIH/NHLBI and Adds Respiratory Advisory Team

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SiteOne Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing new treatments to address conditions involving hypersensitivity of the nervous system, today announced that it has received a Notice of Award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for $1.73 million in grant funding to support the development of an inhaled formulation of SiteOne’s drug candidate for chronic cough.

In conjunction with the grant funding, SiteOne has added an advisory team to advance the development of its drug candidates for chronic cough and other respiratory disorders.

The funding from this award will allow us to advance an inhaled formulation of our development candidate for chronic cough through IND-enabling studies and toward the clinic,” stated John Hunter, Ph.D., Principal Investigator for the award and chief scientific officer of SiteOne Therapeutics. “Chronic cough is a prevalent respiratory disorder that is often unexplained or refractory, and severely impacts quality of life. We aim to develop a safe and effective local-acting inhaled antitussive to address the hypersensitivity of vagal afferents that is thought to drive chronic cough.”

Chronic cough is a cough that lasts eight weeks or longer.  The condition often causes individuals to cough 100 to 1,000 times per day. Cough is mediated by sensory nerve fibers of the vagus nerve that terminate in the upper airways and lungs. SiteOne’s drug candidate aims to reduce the sensitivity of these nerve fibers by inhibiting NaV1.7, a type of sodium channel that is highly expressed. By selectively targeting these peripheral nerve fibers, SiteOne’s drug candidate aims to suppress the electrical signals involved in the pathological cough reflex and reduce the urge to cough.

SiteOne is also adding four experts to an advisory board to guide the development of SiteOne’s drug candidate for chronic cough.

Brendan Canning, Ph.D., is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. He has been or is currently Co-Editor-in-Chief or Associate Editor for six medical research journals. Dr. Canning has served as a scientific advisory board member and a consultant for many pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

Peter Dicpinigaitis, M.D., is a Professor of Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and is active in the field of cough treatment and research. Dr. Dicpinigaitis and colleagues have developed methods of cough reflex sensitivity measurement that have been adopted in international guidelines as the proposed standard method of cough challenge testing. Using this methodology, Dr. Dicpinigaitis has performed numerous studies to evaluate potential antitussive drugs. He is Director of the Montefiore Cough Center in New York, one of the few subspecialty cough centers in the United States, and is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal LUNG.

Anthony Ford, Ph.D., has more than 30 years of neuroscience research, pharmacology, drug discovery and development experience from leading biopharmaceutical companies to his role as co-founder and chief executive officer. He is chief executive officer and a co-founder of CuraSen. Dr. Ford also holds senior advisory roles with PharmNovo and for New Leaf Venture Partners, where he had previously held the title of venture partner. He is also an advisor to the Stanford SPARK program. Prior to CuraSen, Dr. Ford co-founded Afferent Pharmaceuticals, and as chief scientific officer led the discovery and development of P2X3 antagonists, including AF-219/MK-7264 (gefapixant), for chronic cough through Phase 3 readiness until the company’s acquisition by Merck in 2016.

Bradley J. Undem, Ph.D. is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, with a joint appointment in Physiology in the Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore, Maryland. He currently serves on the Editorial Boards of several journals and has served as a consultant and on the scientific advisory boards for several pharmaceutical companies.

“The addition of this team of experts in cough will allow us to bring together knowledge and experience to develop and guide a clinical strategy for our chronic cough therapy,” said John Mulcahy, Ph.D., chief executive officer of SiteOne.

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