Mebias Discovery Raises $3.5 Million to Expand Pipeline Using a Novel, Cell Signaling-Pathway Selective GPCR Drug Discovery Platform

Development Programs to Focus on GI and Inflammation Therapies with Reduced, or No, Side Effects

Philadelphia, PA, October 14, 2019 – Mebias Discovery, an emerging leader in the field of drug discovery targeting G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR), today announced the closing of a $3.5M investment by Viva Biotech Ltd. and Sprout BioVentures. The investment will be used by Mebias Discovery to expand its pipeline with new gastrointestinal (GI) and inflammation programs, applying the company’s novel platform to find drugs with significantly less, or negative, on‑target adverse effects.

“With this additional investment in our Company, we are very pleased to be able to expand the reach of our discovery platform into the GI and inflammation therapeutic areas to solve the tolerance issues that render marketed drugs ineffective,” said Lawrence Kuo, PhD, Co-founder of Mebias Discovery. “We thank Viva Biotech and BioVentures for their confidence in our vision and platform to advance important therapies for patients in need.”

New Mebias Development Programs

One Mebias development program will develop Motilin receptor signaling pathway-selective agonists to overcome fading efficacy faced by patients during treatment of gastric motility disorders. Current therapeutic agents, such as erythromycin, become ineffective within weeks due to a patient’s developing tolerance to the drug.

The second Mebias development program will target the Sphingosine-1-Phosphate receptor (S1P1) for the treatment of pain and neuroinflammation. Drugs that are highly selective towards S1P1 should provide a better therapeutic window by reducing neuroinflammation as well as neuropathic pain for prolonged periods of time as compared to current drugs targeting S1P1.

About Mebias Discovery

Mebias Discovery, an emerging leader in the field of ‘biased agonism’ G-protein coupled receptor drug discovery, has developed a platform to discover GPCR drugs that avoid on-target adverse effects that plague current generations of compounds that are not signaling-pathway selective. At the core of Mebias’ discovery platform are two specialized technologies: native GPCR purification and 19F-protein nuclear magnetic resonance. These capabilities allow Mebias to achieve sensitivity unmatched by the sole application of cell-based assays. The Company’s lead program has produced proprietary mu-opioid agonists that in preclinical models achieve analgesia without respiratory depression, constipation, and addiction potential commonly seen for opioids on the market today. Mebias’ mu-opioid program is supported by a five-year UG3/UH3 grant through the National Institute on Drug Abuse and investment by Bioadvance, a leading provider of venture funding to Life Sciences companies in the mid-Atlantic region. More information about Mebias Discovery can be found at

About Viva Biotech, Ltd. and Sprout BioVentures

Viva Biotech, Ltd. and Sprout BioVentures are each focused on propelling high-potential companies from idea to value creation. With a particular emphasis on seed-stage investments, Viva Biotech and Sprout BioVentures leverage proprietary technology and nimble incubator resources to efficiently de-risk drug discovery efforts. More information is available at and

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