Emtora Biosciences Awarded USD 3m CPRIT Grant to Study Efficacy of eRapa in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis
28 August 2019 - - US-based clinical stage life science company Emtora Biosciences will receive a SEED Award grant totaling USD 3m from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), the company said.

The grant will support a Phase 2a trial of the company's lead drug candidate, eRapa, in the treatment of the rare disease Familial Adenomatous Polyposis.

Patients with FAP suffer from hundreds to thousands of benign polyps in their colon and rectum which develop into colorectal cancer by age 50 without intervention.

There is no current treatment for FAP other than bowel resection, which is often done prophylactically in a patient's adolescent years. Emtora has demonstrated in preclinical studies that eRapa can prevent the formation of polyps in a mouse model for FAP, thus preventing the progression to colon cancer.

The company has made significant progress towards validating this target indication including obtaining approval for a 505 (b) (2) abbreviated regulatory pathway, filing an Investigational New Drug application, gaining safety and dose information in an ongoing Phase Ib clinical study, forging relationships with key opinion leaders and the advocacy group, and receiving Orphan Drug designation.

The CPRIT grant will support a Phase 2a study of oral eRapa in 30 FAP patients to verify efficacy in humans. The study will measure eRapa's ability to impact the number and size of polyps over a 12-month course of treatment.

eRapa is targeted specifically to the gastrointestinal tract and is delivered at a consistent and lower dosage than generic rapamycin, not only reducing toxicity, but also capitalising on the potential of partial inhibition of the mechanistic target of rapamycin to act as a cancer immuno-oncology and chemopreventative agent.

Emtora Biosciences is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.

The company holds the exclusive license to eRapa, an improved, targeted formulation of rapamycin originally developed at UT Health San Antonio that is being investigated to prevent cancer and other age-related medical conditions.

Emtora is strategically developing and commercializing eRapa for indications where there are serious unmet medical needs.

To date, CPRIT has awarded USD 2.4bn in grants to Texas research institutions and organizations through its academic research, prevention, and product development research programs.

CPRIT has recruited 181 distinguished researchers, supported the establishment, expansion or relocation of 37 companies to Texas, and generated over USD 3bn in additional public and private investment. CPRIT funding has advanced scientific and clinical knowledge and provided 5.7m life-saving cancer prevention and early detection services reaching Texans from all 254 counties.

In May 2019, the Texas Legislature approved a constitutional amendment for the November 5, 2019 general election ballot to authorise an additional USD 3bn in bonds for cancer research and prevention.