Collaboration to create new future for asthma patients

SOURCE: Simon Maage/Unsplash
University of Pittsburgh and Pieris Pharmaceuticals will use past medical research findings to facilitate the development of novel therapeutics for asthma.

By U2B Staff 

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The University of Pittsburgh has signed a multi-year partnership with clinical-stage biotechnology company Pieris Pharmaceuticals to improve current methods of identifying and classifying asthma patients for a more streamlined development of future treatments. 

The collaborative medical research project aims to harness medical data from long-term assessments on asthma patients to gain new insights for the development of novel therapeutics. 

The data includes medical research findings by University of Pittsburgh Professors Dr Sally Wenzel and Dr Anuradha Ray who are spearheading the collaboration with Pieris. 

Data collection includes in-depth bloodwork done to gauge patient responsiveness to certain existing therapies.  

After classifying patient data, Pieris will deploy its proprietary Anticalin protein drug discovery platform to address targeted conditions in hopes of discovering new pathways for asthma treatments. 

Asthma Patients
Pieres Pharmaceuticals specialises in discovering new therapeutic pathways for respiratory diseases and cancers. Source: Lucas Vasques/Unsplash.

Pieris Pharmaceuticals is a key player in the development and discovery of trademarked Anticalin protein-based drugs that target identified and validated disease pathways. 

Current work in the pipeline includes inhalable Anticalin proteins that are able to treat respiratory diseases and certain cancers. 


By working with the University of Pittsburgh, the biotechnology company is able to leverage its current capabilities even further by using the university lab’s repository of samples of medical and patient data. 

“We look forward to working with Pieris to seek next-generation targets for asthma…These findings should lead us to better understand patient stratification in asthma. We also anticipate leveraging our translational models to study the Anticalin proteins that Pieris generates against those targets,” said Dr Wenzel. 

“This is an important step in creating better treatment options for asthma patients.”

Asthma is a chronic long-term respiratory disease that affects approximately 25 million Americans and causes nearly two million ER visits a year. 

While it’s a fairly common medical condition, it’s also a complex one that has sparked medical research efforts around the world to identify causes and treatments for various forms of the disease. 

Dr Ray explained that the research findings from the multi-year partnership with Pieris could potentially help develop a deeper understanding of how asthma manifests through defining subtypes of the medical condition that require more in-depth approaches. 


“Drs. Wenzel and Ray have been invaluable advisors to Pieris over the last several years, and I am pleased that we can strengthen our relationship with this collaborative research component in our commitment to expand our pipeline of proprietary respiratory therapeutics,” said Pieris CEO Stephen S. Yoder. 

“Emerging research from their labs demonstrates the power of combining bench-to-bedside research with big data mining, to better understand how to address the as of yet unmet needs of severe asthma patients.”

Dr Wenzel and Dr Ray spoke about this collaborative medical study and more at Pieris’ R&D Day in New York City.