Hillhurst biopharmaceuticals receives funding for development of HBI-002 for prevention of anthracyline-related cardiotoxicity in cancer patients

SAN DIEGO, CA (August 19, 2020) Hillhurst Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on creating liquid drug products containing known therapeutic gases using its proprietary GLASS™ (Gas in Liquid Advanced Stability System) technology platform, today announced an approximately $300,000 award of a Phase 1 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.  This award funds further pre-clinical development of Hillhurst’s lead candidate, HBI-002, an oral therapeutic containing low doses of the medical gas carbon monoxide for the prevention of cardiotoxicity associated with anthracycline chemotherapy  in cancer patients, among other indications. This novel technology targets a protective cellular metabolic pathway (heme oxygenase) known to modulate inflammatory processes and cell death mechanisms.  Hillhurst is collaborating on this preclinical project with Leo Otterbein, Ph.D., Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and staff scientist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, whose lab will test HBI-002 in anthracycline cardiotoxicity models in mice.

“With this award, Hillhurst will explore the therapeutic potential of low dose carbon monoxide delivered with HBI-002 to address the important medical need of protecting cancer patients against cardiotoxicity caused by important and widely used anthracycline chemotherapeutics such as doxorubicin,” said Andrew Gomperts, Hillhurst’s Chief Executive Officer.  “Hillhurst is grateful to the NHLBI for awarding this competitive grant. We believe the promise of our novel approach of oral delivery of low dose carbon monoxide is further validated by this award.”

Dr. Otterbein is a paid consultant for and has ownership interest in the Company.

This research is supported by the NHLBI under grant number 1R41HL150889-01A1. The content of this research is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. 

About Anthracycline Cardiotoxicity

There is an urgent need for the development of approaches to prevent cardiotoxicity in cancer patients being treated with anthracyclines, an important class of drugs in the treatment of cancer (e.g. doxorubicin, idarubicin).  Anthracycline treatment-related cardiotoxicity is a major clinical problem that can severely impact patient care by limiting dosing and usage. A significant portion of patients who receive doxorubicin develop significant cardiac morbidity.

About HBI-002

Hillhurst’s lead product HBI-002, developed with the GLASS™ platform, enables oral liquid delivery of low doses of the medical gas carbon monoxide.  This delivery method may address key medical issues of doxorubicin toxicity during cancer treatment, sickle cell disease vaso-occlusive crisis, and Parkinson’s disease.  A Phase 1 clinical study with HBI-002 in healthy subjects under IND has been successfully completed.

About Hillhurst

Hillhurst is a clinical stage company focused on using its proprietary GLASS™ technology platform to unlock the potential of therapeutic gases through drinkable liquid medicines for debilitating diseases with limited treatment options.  Hillhurst has developed a unique pipeline of novel liquid therapeutic candidates intended to treat patients with anthracycline cardiotoxicity, sickle cell disease, Parkinson’s disease, and acute pain.

To learn more about Hillhurst, please visit www.hillhurstbio.com.

CONTACT: Andrew Gomperts, President and CEO, hillhurstpress@hillhurstbio.com