Xeris Pharmaceuticals Awarded Phase II Funding of NIH Fast -Track SBIR Grant to Advance Glucagon for the Artificial Pancreas

Austin, TX, April 17, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Xeris"), an Austin-based, pharmaceutical company developing patient-friendly injectable treatments for diabetes and other diseases, has been awarded the Phase II  installment of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Fast Track grant for $713,733. The grant, totaling $1.05 million, was awarded in 2012 to advance the company's room-temperature stable, non-aqueous glucagon formulation for the advancement of a bi-hormonal pump artificial pancreas. It comes from the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), an institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that funds research on diabetes and other metabolic diseases.  

Phase II funding was awarded after successful completion of the Phase 1 milestones, and will support preclinical studies and a foundational clinical trial. The trial, to be conducted at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) under the direction of co-investigators, Drs. Jessica R. Castle and W. Kenneth Ward, will test Xeris' soluble, stable glucagon (XeriSol™ G-Pump™) in a pump-based application towards ultimate development of a bi-hormonal pump. Drs. Castle and Ward are co-developers of an automated system for delivery of insulin and glucagon to people with type 1diabetes (T1D) and will be testing the new Xeris glucagon. Development of a bi-hormonal artificial pancreas carrying both insulin and glucagon would enable a fully closed-loop system to automatically control both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. Such a system would alleviate the difficulties currently experienced by people with T1D such as frequent insulin dosing calculations and attempting to balance the effects of food, exercise, and emotional stress required for effective diabetes management.

"Xeris is pleased to continue to partner with the NIDDK and Drs. Castle and Ward to enhance and expand glucagon for the artificial pancreas" said Dr. Steven Prestrelski, Chief Executive Officer of Xeris Pharmaceuticals. "This research collaboration will increase opportunities to improve the treatment of hypoglycemia, an area that represents a significant unmet medical need." The clinical trial, set to start in 2014, is expected to include 14 patients with Type 1 diabetes at OHSU.

For more information about this grant, click here for the 2012 press release.

Grant Number: 4R44DK096706-02

Project Name: Clinical Development of a Stable Glucagon Formulation for Bi-hormonal Pump

About Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company based in Austin, Texas. Xeris develops injectable therapeutics to treat endocrine and metabolic diseases, as well as therapeutics for indications in neurology and immunology. Its low-volume and ready-to-use pharmaceuticals provide convenient and patient-friendly devices through the subcutaneous delivery of concentrated, non-aqueous pastes or liquid drug formulations. Its delivery technologies will eliminate reconstitution of biologics, simplify administration, and ease the pain of injections for millions of patients and caregivers. For more information please visit the Xeris website at: www.xerispharma.com