Mebias Discovery, a Philadelphia, PA-based leader in the field of drug discovery targeting G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR), closed a $3.5M funding round.
The round was led by Viva Biotech Ltd. and Sprout BioVentures.
The company intends to use the funds to expand its pipeline with new gastrointestinal (GI) and inflammation programs, applying its novel platform to find drugs with on‑target adverse effects.
Led by Lawrence Kuo, PhD, Mebias Discovery has developed a platform to discover GPCR drugs that avoid on-target adverse effects that plague current generations of compounds that are not signaling-pathway selective.
At the core of its discovery platform are two specialized technologies: native GPCR purification and 19F-protein nuclear magnetic resonance.
One Mebias development program will develop Motilin receptor signaling pathway-selective agonists to overcome fading efficacy faced by patients during treatment of gastric motility disorders.
The second development program will target the Sphingosine-1-Phosphate receptor (S1P1) for the treatment of pain and neuroinflammation.
The company’s lead program has produced proprietary mu-opioid agonists that in preclinical models achieve analgesia without respiratory depression, constipation, and addiction potential commonly seen for opioids on the market today.
Mebias’ mu-opioid program is supported by a five-year UG3/UH3 grant through the National Institute on Drug Abuse and investment by Bioadvance, a provider of venture funding to Life Sciences companies in the mid-Atlantic region.