Pantherics gets grant to continue developing anti-inflammatory drug

Last updated on August 30th, 2022 at 02:03 pm

Alexander Arnold
Douglas Stafford

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee startup Pantherics Inc. has received a $255,841 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health. Pantherics is working on developing a novel anti-inflammatory drug, called PI301, that could have positive effects in the dermatology industry and help those with asthma and gastrointestinal disorders. The SBIR grant will allow Pantherics to create an oral version of their drug, which is a step needed to move forward to human clinical testing.

“PI301 is an exciting new approach to control inflammation without the adverse effects of steroids and other common anti-inflammatory drugs, which can be important in several diseases,” said Dr. Alexander Arnold, chief scientific officer and vice president of Pantherics. “A key innovation is the development of PI301 for asthma, where a single oral drug could be used to control two disease hallmarks, lung inflammation and bronchospasm, without the use of common inhalers.”

The SBIR program encourages small businesses across the country to engage in innovative, high-potential research and development. Through an awards-based program, SBIR funding enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provide the incentive to profit from its commercialization.

“The NIH/SBIR funding gives us important scientific and commercial validation and support to advance our lead therapeutic candidate to first in human testing,” said Dr. Douglas Stafford, president of Pantherics.

PI301 was discovered by researchers at UWM’s Milwaukee Institute for Drug Discovery with assistance from Columbia University in New York.

Pantherics merged with San Diego-based Bio33 Degrees, Inc. in 2019, creating a unified drug discovery and development platform to target issues related to the creation of the organization’s anti-inflammatory drug.

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Ashley covers startups, technology and manufacturing for BizTimes. She was previously the managing editor of the News Graphic and Washington County Daily News. In past reporting roles, covering education at The Waukesha Freeman, she received several WNA awards. She is a UWM graduate. In her free time, Ashley enjoys watching independent films, tackling a new recipe in the kitchen and reading a good book.