Branford biopharma firm earns NIH grant of up to $2.3M

BY Natalie Missakian

A Branford-based biopharmaceutical company has won a federal grant of up to $2.3 million to support development of a new treatment for inflammatory bowel disease.

Thetis Pharmaceuticals said the National Institutes of Health Fast-Track Small Business Innovation Grant will help the company develop its drug TP-317, an oral therapy to treat ulcerative colitis, a form of IBD.

"TP-317 offers a fundamentally new approach to IBD treatment based on active resolution of inflammation and the promotion of tissue regeneration without suppressing the immune system," said Gary Mathias, cofounder and chief executive officer. "The grant will support the advancement of this promising, potential new therapy."

The treatment "delivers a natural bioactive lipid known as Resolvin E1 that regulates the inflammatory response," said Dr. Daniel Rosenberg, professor of medicine at the University of Connecticut, which is collaborating with the company on preclinical studies of the drug.

The company is funded by Connecticut Innovations, Inc., the state's venture capital arm, and is a member of the Technology Incubation Program at University of Connecticut Health.

Natalie Missakian can be reached at