The National Institutes of Health have granted two research teams based at the University of Chicago to develop medicines for the treatment of asthma and sleep apnea.

The grants are designed to accelerate discovery of effective pharmaceutical treatments during the critical second stage of a drug’s development, the period between the discovery of a potential new medication and the first round of human clinical trials. The funding–which amounts to about $1.7 million annually for each project for up to five years–is administered by the NIH’s Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.