Rise Therapeutics awarded $2 Million to Develop a Novel, Immunological-Directed Microbiome-based Medicine for Treatment of Sjögren’s Syndrome

Rockville, MD. Rise Therapeutics announced today it was awarded a $2 million, multi-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program through the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Grant funds will be used to develop a novel, immunologically enhanced probiotic-based therapeutic for the treatment of Sjögren’s syndrome (SS).

“Sjögren’s syndrome is an extremely debilitating disease and, with the generous support of the NIH, we are grateful to be able to advance product development of a therapy that we believe will provide a profound medical advancement for treating this disease,” said Dr. Gary Fanger, President and CEO of Rise Therapeutics. "We look forward to advancing the important work of developing R-2487, a drug that can treat the root cause of Sjögren’s syndrome, a treatment approach which is currently lacking for this indication." 

SS is a progressive, chronic autoimmune disease characterized by inflammatory cell infiltration of the salivary and lacrimal glands, resulting in acinar epithelial cell atrophy, cell death, and loss of exocrine function. At least half of SS patients develop extra glandular inflammatory disease and have a wide range of systemic clinical manifestations that can affect any organ system, including connective tissue, and 5-10% of patients develop life-threatening lymphoma. SS is a debilitating disease affecting as many as 3.1 million individuals in the U.S. with women being nine times more likely to be afflicted with SS than men.

R-2487 works by upregulating T regulatory (Treg) cells. With current treatments of SS relying on replacement therapies such as artificial saliva and eye lubricants or immunosuppressive agents, the capacity to stimulate Tregs independent of knowing the antigen specificity for the disease poses an attractive therapeutic approach. This program is based upon Rise Therapeutics’ novel drug delivery platform that enables oral delivery of immunological-based, biological medicines. The platform, called TriPartite X (TPX), is a novel DNA assembly approach that allows for creation of engineered probiotics to escort targeted protein therapies to the site of action, the intestinal tract. TPX enables the drug industry to step away from regular injections and infusion strategies for a more convenient ‘pill-based’ oral delivery perspective for biological medicines. TPX can be utilized to deliver a variety of protein-based drugs, including complex immunotherapy applications, and Rise has interest in exploring applications with potential partners that have protein-based therapeutic candidates that they want to develop as orally-available biologics.

About Rise Therapeutics

Rise Therapeutics is a privately held biotechnology company located in Rockville, Maryland. Rise is pioneering synthetic biology methodologies to develop novel cellular-based medicines. Rise Therapeutics leverages its unique and proprietary TriPartite X (TPX) approach to deliver targeted biologics orally, a novel step forward in the context of protein-based medicines. As a platform drug delivery approach, TPX is ideally suited to deliver any biological therapy orally and, in the context of Rise’s therapeutics product development interests, targeting immunology of the gut is a key breakthrough that gives Rise a competitive drug development advantage. Rise is currently focused on developing treatments for autoimmunity, inflammatory disease, infection, and cancer. These disease areas represent a large unmet need, both in the United States and around the world. For more information about Rise Therapeutics, please visit www.risetherapeutics.com.