The company said it will receive the third tranche of US$1mln as part of its US$3mln Small Business Innovation Research grant.
The funds will be used to continue a Phase III trial evaluating the use of 129 Xe magnetic resonance imaging scanning for children being treated for cystic fibrosis (CF).
"Year three of this NIH [US National Institutes of Health] proposal will allow us to fully validate the hypothesis that hyperpolarised Xe MRI is sensitive to mild lung-function declines associated with CF in children. We anticipate that this work programme will be a launching point for future studies that will use the technique as a primary or secondary endpoint to demonstrate efficacy of therapeutic agents in CF and other obstructive lung diseases,” said Jason Woods of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center – one of Polarean’s long-standing collaborators.
Richard Hullihen, the chief executive officer of Polarean, said there are several new drug therapies under development by manufacturers and a key element in expediting the development and commercialisation process is having quantitative, reproducible, non-invasive imaging-based measures of a biological state (i.e. biomarkers).
“These biomarkers could reduce the cost of trials and maximise the outcome and proof of cost efficacy in this critical patient population. Achieving these milestones may facilitate expansion of the developed techniques to other members of the Xenon MRI Trials Consortium for multi-centre trials. We believe the applications being developed in CF could further expand the use of 129-Xe imaging as we continue to progress our own Phase III Clinical Trials, which are testing our drug-device combination for the evaluation of pulmonary ventilation," Hullihen said.
Shares in Polarean were up 2.4% at 16.125p in early trading.