Hillhurst Biopharmaceuticals receives funding for development of HBI-002 for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy

SAN DIEGO, CA (September 14, 2023) 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 the award of a Phase 1 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant from the National Eye Institute (NEI) of approximately $300,000 to fund 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 treatment of diabetic retinopathy, 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 Pamela Martin, Ph.D. and Ravirajsinh Jadeja, Ph.D., scientists at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, whose lab will test HBI-002 in diabetic retinopathy 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 treating diabetic retinopathy,” said Andrew Gomperts, Hillhurst’s Chief Executive Officer.  “Hillhurst is grateful to the NEI 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.”

The content in this release is the sole responsibility of Hillhurst and does not necessarily represent the official views or imply endorsement of the National Institutes of Health.

About Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a neurovascular complication of diabetes mellitus and the leading cause of blindness in working age adults and elderly, affecting approximately 4.2 million diabetes patients in the US.  There is an urgent need for the development of additional approaches to prevent and treat diabetic retinopathy, as the current therapeutic interventions have limited efficacy and substantial drawbacks.

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 diabetic retinopathy, 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 its proprietary GLASSTM platform, which enables novel drug products based on therapeutic gases that, up until now, have been limited by inhaled delivery, including a unique pipeline of novel liquid therapeutic candidates intended to treat patients with sickle cell disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetic retinopathy, and acute pain.

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

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