The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded Xylyx Bio, Inc. a small business innovation research (SBIR) fast-track grant worth $2,230,301, according to a press release from the company.

The grant will help advance the development of an antifibrotic drug testing platform, which could help scientists discover and test new drug candidates for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

“We are addressing a critical need in the IPF field, as the preclinical models and testing systems that have been used for decades are not sufficient,” said John O’Neill, chief scientific officer at Xylyx Bio and the principal investigator of the project. “Our goal is to deliver an effective IPF modeling and testing platform that will increase fundamental understanding of IPF and empower high-impact discoveries that ultimately improve outcomes for patients.”

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The platform, called the MATRICO™ Fibrosis Platform, uses human lung tissue-derived extracellular matrix (ECM) from normal and fibrotic lungs to study disease mechanisms and evaluate the effect of potential new therapeutic compounds.

Fibrotic lung ECM is an integral component of IPF, and according to the company, this platform offers compound testing services for physiologically relevant testing predictive of human IPF disease biology.

IPF is a chronic and progressive lung disease characterized by the buildup of scar tissue in the pulmonary parenchyma. The median survival of patients with IPF is 3 to 4 years.

There is currently no cure for the disease, and the only available treatments approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are nintedanib and pirfenidone, which can only slow the progression of the disease; they cannot reverse fibrosis that has already occurred and do not improve symptoms. New and better treatments are, therefore, urgently needed for patients with IPF. 


Xylyx Bio awarded $2.2M NIH SBIR fast-track grant from National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. News release. Xylyx Bio, Inc.; September 2, 2021.