Bessor Pharma

Bessor Pharma Receives SBIR Grant for New Pancreatitis Treatment


Framingham, MA, November 22, 2016 – Bessor Pharma has received a $300,000 Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research Grant (SBIR) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), to develop a new therapeutic for acute pancreatitis, the company said today. The grant, which is supporting a collaboration with Yale university researchers, is focused on developing peptide mimics of a naturally occurring protein, renalase, whose deficiency has been linked to the disease.

The project builds on work by Bessor’s collaborator Dr. Gary Desir, Chairman of Medicine at Yale, who discovered renalase and developed a strong therapeutic rationale for the short-term activation of the RNLS signaling pathway to treat a number of acute conditions, including acute pancreatitis, characterized by RNLS deficiency. Bessor is also collaborating on the grant with Dr. Fred Gorelick, Professor of Medicine (Digestive Diseases) and of Cell Biology) at Yale, and a leading expert in the mechanisms and clinical aspects of acute pancreatitis.

Renalase is a protein produced in the kidneys, pancreas and other tissues that can function as a survival factor by acting through a specific pathway to prevent programmed cell death. Dr. Desir and colleagues have shown that in acute pancreatitis, renalase levels in blood are decreased and the severity of acute pancreatitis is increased in animal models lacking renalase. Administration of recombinant renalase reduces the severity of acute pancreatitis in an animal model. He has also identified the site on the renalase molecule responsible for pro-survival signaling providing the basis for designing peptide mimics.

In the grant the researchers will evaluate several candidate peptides in models of acute pancreatitis and select a lead candidate to advance towards clinical trials.

About Bessor Pharma
Bessor Pharma is utilizing an innovative technology/business model for new drug development and value creation, with a focus on translating opportunities from university laboratories into proof-of-concept or clinical-ready packages for the pharma/biotech industry. The Company, which has unique skills, connectivity and capital markets sophistication, is forging an ecosystem of academic and industry partners as key stakeholders facilitating translational R&D. Bessor is differentiated by its: aligned team with an unparalleled track record in drug development; operational progress; and unique collaborative partnerships with universities and investigators, fueling an innovative pipeline of highly needed drugs.