Synspira, a pharmaceutical company developing a new class of glycopolymer-based therapeutics for pulmonary disease, has secured $8 million in private funding to advance a Phase 1 first-in-humans safety study of its investigational cystic fibrosis therapy SNSP113.

SNSP113 is a glycopolymer-based therapeutic being developed as an inhaled treatment to improve lung function in CF patients. As a modified polysaccharide molecule, SNSP113 interacts with polysaccharides in protective bacterial biofilms, breaking them apart, and with native glycoproteins in mucus, reducing mucus viscosity and adhesion. Both biofilms and mucus are key drivers of pulmonary exacerbations and infections in cystic fibrosis patients. SNSP113 also interacts with the cell walls of invading bacteria increasing their permeability, thereby reducing their inherent viability and potentiating the efficacy of antibiotics.

The company was founded in early 2017 to develop inhaled therapies for pulmonary diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, COPD, and pneumonia through an exclusive field license to Synedgen’s Glycomics Technology Platform and their related pulmonary delivery assets.

The unique characteristics of Synspira’s proprietary modified polysaccharide agents have the potential to address a major unmet need associated with these pulmonary disorders, the chronic infection and related inflammation which often lead to exacerbations, hospitalizations and ultimately irreversible lung function decline.

“Our goal at Synspira is to deliver on the promise that our technology holds for addressing one of the most intractable challenges facing patients with pulmonary diseases, recalcitrant chronic infections and the resulting inflammation,” said Shenda Baker, Ph.D., Founding CEO, Synspira. “We believe SNSP113’s unique attributes represent a potentially important new therapeutic approach and could dramatically improve the lives of patients living with cystic fibrosis, the lead indication we are studying.”

Synspira’s lead program, SNSP113, is an inhaled glycopolymeric agent designed for treating exacerbations and infections related to cystic fibrosis. SNSP113 has been shown pre-clinically to dramatically reduce viability of a broad range of antibiotic-resistant bacteria including the highly virulent Burkholderia cepacia. Critically for CF patients, SNSP113 appears to disrupt the invading bacteria’s protective biofilm and reduce the accumulated thick mucus’ viscosity, thereby facilitating clearance from the lungs. Also, when tested pre-clinically in combination with approved antibiotics, SNSP113 has been shown to significantly enhance their potency.

“The buildup of thick mucus in the lungs and the resultant bacterial infection is a hallmark of cystic fibrosis and is the cause of the lung damage which results in premature death,” said Prof. Stuart Elborn, CBE, M.D., Professor of Respiratory Medicine, and Centre Director for Specialist Adult Cystic Fibrosis, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK. “By directly disrupting this mucus accumulation and the related bacterial biofilm, Synspira is taking a completely novel approach to treating this debilitating and life-shortening disease. New treatment options such as this are needed to help alleviate the burden of CF on thousands of patients around the world.”

Synspira also announced the appointment of a founding board of directors, including chairman William Wiesmann, MD.

“The launch of Synspira represents a significant milestone in realizing our vision for improving the lives of patients living with pulmonary diseases by leveraging Synedgen’s Glycomics Technology Platform,” said Dr. Wiesmann. “Synspira is sharply focused on developing important new inhaled glycopolymer therapies for pulmonary disease and will be initiating a Phase 1 clinical trial for SNSP113 early in 2018. We also look forward to exploring additional indications such as pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease where the formation of biofilm is a key driver of pulmonary decline.”