WEST CHESTER (September 1, 2020) – A Chester County biopharma company will receive more than $210,000 in grant funding to support the advancement of a treatment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state Senator Andy Dinniman announced.
Melior Pharmaceuticals, a mid-stage biopharmaceutical company based in Exton, has repositioned an existing therapeutic that shows great promise as a pulmonary therapeutic and is expected to reduce the occurrence and severity of pulmonary complications in subjects with COVID-19.
“Chester County has always been a hub for innovation, especially in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. That commitment to scientific research for the betterment of all continues today,” Dinniman said. “As we continue to work together to stop the spread of this virus, it’s crucial that we support the development of treatments and therapies that will save lives and protect our residents, neighbors, and families.”
Melior is one of 23 qualified biotechnology entities statewide that will receive $10 million in total grant funding through the COVID-19 Vaccines, Treatments, and Therapies (CV-VTT) program.
The program, announced last month, was made available to Pennsylvania-based entities that demonstrate both a financial need and a well-defined pathway to the accelerated commercialization of a new vaccine, treatment or therapy in direct response to fight against COVID-19.
Of the 23 projects, $6.8 million was awarded to 12 vaccine projects, nearly $1.2 million was awarded to five therapy projects, nearly $1.6 million was awarded to five treatment projects, and $430,000 was awarded to a project that will support the build-out of physical infrastructure, advancing the development of leading-edge innovations in the fight against SARS-CoV-2.
Under the grant program, colleges & universities, for-profit companies, academic medical centers, non-profit research institutions, and economic development organizations could apply for up to $1 million in grant funding to support the rapid advancement of vaccines, treatments, and therapies in response to COVID-19.
Applicants were required to make a 1:1 monetary match and the scope of the project period is not to exceed nine months in length.
Some of the projects awarded funding include those that will study the use of cancer medications on COVID-19 patients; the development of a research and training space to accelerate the pace of COVID-19 treatment development; the acceleration of vaccine development efforts; and the development of a protective antibody for at-risk individuals, including the elderly, among other innovative and promising new ideas.
Funding for the program was appropriated from the Act 2A of 2020, known as the COVID-19 Emergency Supplement to the General Appropriation Act of 2019, to the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), to be administered through a Notice of Subgrant by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) Office of Technology and Innovation.