Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Austin, Texas has just received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant worth $678,969 to fund the development of a mini-dose pen to administer glucagon in cases of mild to moderate hypoglycemia among individuals diagnosed with diabetes. This grant comprises the first part of funding for the initial two phases of a Fast Track SBIR grant that could amount to as much as $1.4 million. A portion of the fund was given on September 16th by the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). This critically important fund supplements a previously awarded grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.
The company will be working with co-Principal Investigator, Dr. Morey Haymond, a globally recognized expert in the field of pediatric endocrinology and a professor of Pediatrics at the Baylor College of Medicine, in developing the Xeris’ glucagon rescue pen (G-Pen™) and glucagon for pumps (G-Pump™). Dr. Haymond brings a proven track record in diabetes research as an internationally-recognized pediatric endocrinologist. Previously, he authored what is considered to be the seminal paper on the use of glucagon mini-dosing to treat moderate hypoglycemia in children with Type 1 diabetes having gastro-enteritis, according to Xeris’ press release. Xeris will look to leverage Dr. Haymond’s expertise in the development of their new technology:
“The Xeris’ team is developing a room temperature stable glucagon formulation that can be packaged in a patient-friendly pen. When the pen is used in conjunction with insulin and regular glucose monitoring, it has the potential to allow patients to more accurately maintain normal blood glucose values and avoid the typical glucose highs and lows experienced when patients use insulin alone in management of their diabetes.” – Dr. Morey Haymond
Xeris’ glucagon preparations utilize chemically stable, non-aqueous forms, and are expected to be marketed for the treatment and prevention of hypoglycemia through the use of user-friendly injector pens and hormonal pumps. Because patients with diabetes frequently suffer from mild to moderate hypoglycemia on a daily basis, diabetics often use sugar-based drinks, candy, and other high-sugar foods to raise their blood sugar levels. Xeris’ technology offers a chemically stable, non-aqueous glucagon solution that can help stabilize blood sugar levels without the need for high-sugar foods or drinks.
Visit Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc.‘s company profile on BioNews Texas for more information on the company and its products.