Kala Pharmaceuticals Receives Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Grant
WALTHAM, Mass.--Kala Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a leading developer of innovative products that rapidly and effectively penetrate the mucosal barrier to treat a wide range of debilitating diseases, announced today that it has been awarded a grant from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to demonstrate that Kala's Mucosal-Penetrating Products (MPPs) also penetrate bacterial biofilms. Bacteria biofilms attach to respiratory surfaces and aggregate in a matrix that prevents antibiotics from effectively treating the chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients that is linked to morbidity and mortality.
The grant from the C F Foundation calls for Kala to apply its proprietary platform for MPPs to biofilms that will be prepared in the laboratory of Samuel Moskowitz, M.D., Director of the Cystic Fibrosis Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Moskowitz and his lab will also perform the biofilm penetration measurements. Penetration of the biofilm will enable direct, sustained delivery of antibiotics to the bacteria in the biofilm. The work through this grant will build on preclinical studies to date in which Kala's MPPs have demonstrated mucus penetration in respiratory applications including penetration of CF sputum in ex vivo models.
"We are pleased to collaborate with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to help find treatments to tackle the devastating respiratory infections found in people with cystic fibrosis," said Guillaume Pfefer, Ph.D., Kala's CEO. "Our internal drug development efforts at Kala are initially focused on innovative ophthalmic treatments, while we continue to leverage our platform to simultaneously pursue collaborations with organizations, such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, to treat a broad range of other diseases where mucosal barriers have previously limited therapeutic efficacy."
About Kala Pharmaceuticals
Kala Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is developing innovative products which are capable of penetrating mucosal barriers for the treatment of major diseases that affect the eyes, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and female reproductive system. Mucosal barriers have been largely overlooked as a limitation for drug efficacy. Using the company's proprietary technology platform, Kala's Mucosal-Penetrating Products (MPPs) have the unique ability to rapidly and uniformly coat and permeate mucosal tissues leading to highly effective treatments with improved side effect profiles. The company is leveraging its platform as an internal product engine for a wide spectrum of potential applications, including treatments for respiratory, ophthalmic, female reproductive tract and gastrointestinal diseases. Kala is also pursuing collaborations with partners to transform the therapeutic properties of marketed drugs and compounds in development. Kala was founded by leaders in the fields of nanomedicine and biopharmaceutical engineering, Dr. Justin Hanes of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Robert Langer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Dr. Colin Gardner formerly of TransForm Pharmaceuticals/Johnson & Johnson and Merck. The company is backed by leading investors including Lux Capital, Polaris Venture Partners, and Third Rock Ventures. For more information, please visit www.kalarx.com.
About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world's leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. The Foundation funds more cystic fibrosis research than any other organization, and nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Foundation support. Based in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation also supports and accredits a national care center network that has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a model of care for a chronic disease. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a donor-supported nonprofit organization. For more information, go to www.cff.org.