Langer's Kala scores Cystic Fibrosis Foundation grant

Kala Pharmaceuticals CEO Guillaume
Pfefer--courtesy of Kala

Kala Pharmaceuticals won a grant from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to demonstrate that the company's mucosal-barrier-penetrating nanoparticle can do the same across bacterial biofilms, a symptom of cystic fibrosis.

Co-founded by MIT professor Robert Langer, Kala has developed mucosal-penetrating products (MPPs), which are designed to rapidly cross the mucosal barrier to treat major diseases that affect the eyes, lungs, gastrointestinal tract and female reproductive system. With more than 10 years of research behind them, MPPs are "a unique and extremely effective approach to crossing the mucosal membrane," Kala CEO Guillaume Pfefer told FierceDrugDelivery.

"Right now, the challenge facing any delivery to an organ protected by this barrier is getting across--crossing the barrier is key," Pfefer said. "Our [MPPs] are nanoparticles with a special surface property that allows them to do this very rapidly."

In the case of cystic fibrosis, bacterial biofilms attach to respiratory surfaces and prevent antibiotics from treating chronic infections that can be fatal. If the MPPs are able to cross the biofilms the way they cross mucosal barriers, the infections may be treated.

Pfefer said the drug could be available as soon as 2016 after next year's Phase III trial. Kala recently closed a Series A round of financing, to be joined by an undisclosed amount from the CF Foundation.

- here's the release