Houston, TX, (September 16, 2020) - 7 Hills Pharma, a clinical stage immunotherapy company focused on the development of drugs for treatment and prevention of cancer and infectious diseases, has been awarded a two-year, $2 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
The SBIR funding will be used to support Phase 1 clinical trials of 7HP349, an oral, first in concept small molecule immunostimulant, which is designed to improve the effectiveness of immunotherapies, such as immuno-oncology drugs and infectious disease vaccines.
“We are honored to receive this grant,” said Lionel D. Lewis, MB BCh., M.D., Chief Medical Officer of 7 Hills Pharma . “NCI has continuously funded our 7HP349 program from concept through investigational new drug (IND) enabling studies and now to first in human testing. This funding will help us complete a Phase 1 safety and pharmacokinetics study of 7HP349.”
7HP349 is part of 7 Hills Pharma’s platform of small molecule integrin activators that promote cell adhesion, which is essential for immune system activation. By enhancing integrin mediated cell adhesion, 7 Hills Pharma’s compounds have the potential to enhance the antigen specific immune responses of immuno-oncology drugs and vaccines. The integrin activators act systemically and are delivered separately requiring no change to the administration of these immunotherapies.
“If the Phase 1 trial of 7HP349 is successful,” Dr. Lewis said, “we expect to move into Phase 2 trials next year to evaluate the use of 7HP349 to augment the defective antigen presentation that results in poor outcomes in patients with PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor resistant solid tumors, and in elderly people vaccinated against influenza and possibly COVID-19.”
7 Hills Pharma’s COVID-19 program recently was selected by Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS to participate in its Blue Knight collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to help battle the pandemic. BARDA is a component of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
About 7 Hills Pharma
7 Hills Pharma is focused on the development of novel and cost-efficient immunomodulatory agents that leverage well-known integrin biology to drive and enhance essential steps in the immune system. The company’s lead programs are designed to improve the effectiveness of immuno-oncology therapies including checkpoint inhibitors, vaccines, and cord blood transplantation in the treatment of cancers and infectious diseases. For more information, visit http://www.7hillspharma.com