Moonlight Therapeutics Secures Private Funding to Advance Development of Peanut Allergy Treatment
Tuesday, May 12th, 2020
Moonlight Therapeutics, Inc., announced an investment of over $300,000 from a small group of private investors. Moonlight Therapeutics is a biotechnology company developing treatments for food allergies and its lead program focuses on a treatment for peanut allergies.
Moonlight’s proprietary treatment platform, TASIS — Targeted Allergen-Specific Immunotherapy within the Skin — involves the application of a small, minimally invasive skin patch that uses microneedles to target the delivery of allergens to the skin’s immune cells to desensitize someone from a food allergy. The microneedle patch is removed within a few minutes of application and the administration is complete.
This funding represents the company’s first private investment and was led by the Central Piedmont Investment Group (CPIG). The capital is in addition to the $2.5 million business grant Moonlight Therapeutics received in 2019 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The new funding will allow the company to strengthen its intellectual property and enable a pre-Investigational New Drug Application (IND) meeting with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the peanut allergy treatment.
“We are emboldened by this additional capital to advance our preclinical timeline and prepare for a clinical trial using TASIS for peanut allergy,” said Samir Patel, Moonlight Therapeutics president and CEO. “We also gained a group of dedicated investors who we consider partners in our quest to create a meaningful therapy for those suffering from food allergies.”
“Moonlight Therapeutics has developed a unique allergen immunotherapy platform that will first be applied to peanut allergies. In the United States alone, there are an estimated 30 million people who suffer from food allergies, with 6 million being children,” said Bob Easter, CPIG managing director. “As a result, CPIG sees tremendous growth potential and has been impressed with the creativity and diligence of the founders.”
Food allergies are a global problem and there are very few treatment options for both children and adults, explained Dr. Stanley Fineman, an allergist who served on the board of the World Allergy Organization and is a past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. “A treatment like TASIS, under development by Moonlight Therapeutics, has the potential to help address this unmet need for not just peanut allergies, but multiple other food allergies.” Dr. Fineman is also an advisor to Moonlight Therapeutics.