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By Joshua Fechter, San Antonio Express-News
The Polish subsidiary of San Antonio-based Evestra Inc. has received more than $4 million to develop a drug designed to fight a painful condition that can cause infertility in women.
The $4.6 million grant from the Polish National Centre for Research and Development, partially financed by the European Union Regional Development Fund, will fund Evestra Onkologia's research into EC313, a drug to treat endometriosis, the company said in a news release Tuesday.
Evestra Onkologia is a subsidiary of Evestra, a biopharmaceutical research and development company based in San Antonio.
"We are grateful to the Polish National Centre For Research and Development for awarding Evestra Onkologia this prestigious grant, and recognizing the innovative approach taken by Evestra to generate EC313 as a promising drug to treat endometriosis," Evestra CEO and President Ze'ev Shaked said in a statement. "This grant validates the strategic approach we have taken to drug development since we launched Evestra in 2008."
An estimated 10 percent of women suffer from endometriosis, according to the news release, which occurs when tissue that normally lines the uterus grows elsewhere, such as behind the uterus or on the ovaries, bowels or bladder, causing pain and infertility among other problems.
So far, EC313 has shown "significant superiority" over other selective progesterone receptor modulators, which are used to treat the condition, Evestra Chief Scientific Officer Klaus Nickisch said in a statement.
Maciej Wierzbicki, the company's director of projects in Poland, and a research and development team in Lodz, Poland, will collaborate with Polish and international experts on the effort, the news release said.