Moonlight Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company developing treatments for food allergies, announced today the receipt of $2.5 million in funding for preclinical studies and product development that will enable preparations for a clinical trial for its lead program in peanut allergy. This funding was awarded through a highly competitive Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Fast Track grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Moonlight’s proprietary platform, TASIS — Targeted Allergen-Specific Immunotherapy within the Skin — involves the application of a small, minimally invasive dermal stamp that uses microneedles to target the delivery of allergens to the skin’s immune cells. The stamp is removed within a few minutes and the administration is complete.
“We are delighted to receive this grant from the NIAID to advance the development of our novel therapy to help the millions of people who are suffering from peanut allergies,” said Samir Patel, president and CEO of Moonlight Therapeutics. “We will be working with Harvinder Gill, inventor of this technology and the Whitacre Endowed Chair of Science and Engineering at Texas Tech University.”
Moonlight is currently focused on developing a peanut allergy treatment using TASIS, but the technology has broad capabilities that can be used to deliver a combination of allergens in a single stamp. Preclinical animal studies have demonstrated the efficacy of TASIS for peanut and other respiratory allergies.
“There is a significant need for therapies for food allergies since there are currently no Food and Drug Administration approved options for patients, said Dr. Carla Davis, director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Food Allergy Program and Chief of the Section of Immunology, Allergy and Retrovirology in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine.
A nationally known food allergy expert and leader in the field, Dr. Davis serves as a medical advisor to Moonlight.
“Moonlight’s approach has the potential to offer a meaningful treatment option for both children and adults,” she added.
About Moonlight Therapeutics
Moonlight Therapeutics is an early-stage biotechnology company developing targeted, allergen-specific immunotherapy treatments for food allergies. Food allergies are estimated to affect more than 30 million people in the United States. Moonlight uses its proprietary platform, TASIS, to target the delivery of allergens to immune cells in the skin. This technology was invented at Texas Tech University. TASIS can be used to deliver individual or combinations of allergens to treat multiple allergies. Founded in 2017, the company is a member of the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) at the Georgia Institute of Technology, is supported by the Georgia Research Alliance, and is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. To learn more, visit moonlighttx.com.