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Progenity Receives Funding from Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation IBD Ventures Fund to Develop Drug Delivery System for IBD

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SAN DIEGO, May 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Progenity, Inc. (Nasdaq: PROG), a biotechnology company with an established track record of success developing and commercializing molecular testing products, announced today that it has received funding from the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s IBD Ventures program to further develop Progenity’s first-in-class oral Drug Delivery System (DDS) for delivery of targeted therapeutics for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

The DDS capsule is an orally ingestible and self-guided drug delivery device under development, which is designed to deliver doses of therapeutic compounds formulated in proprietary solutions to a defined location within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Current drug treatments for IBD suffer from less than optimal efficacies at safe doses, leading to a loss of response in many patients within the first few years of treatment. The DDS could improve efficacy of treatment through increased localized drug concentration, while potentially minimizing harmful side effects associated with systemic drug delivery. The promise of an improved therapeutic-safety index also creates the potential for targeted delivery of combination therapies.

Funding from IBD Ventures will support further development and clinical studies of the DDS technology. Progenity is also developing a pipeline of therapeutic candidates that use the DDS to deliver proprietary soluble liquid formulations, designed to improve tissue uptake, directly to the colon to treat ulcerative colitis. Progenity’s lead candidates include PGN-001, a high-concentration formulation of adalimumab, and PGN-600, a high concentration, solubilized formulation of tofacitinib. Progenity also plans to use the platform to develop solutions for Crohn’s disease and other GI diseases in the future.

IBD Ventures was developed by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation to accelerate research and development of products that aim to improve the quality of life for patients with IBD. During 2020, less than 5% of applicants received funding, demonstrating the selectivity of the program.

“We are proud to have been chosen by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation to receive funding through their IBD Ventures program. This partnership will help support the development of our innovative DDS platform for IBD,” said Harry Stylli, PhD, CEO, chairman of the board and co-founder of Progenity. “We believe our therapeutic pipeline candidates, coupled with the DDS technology, could improve patient outcomes by delivering higher drug concentrations at the site of disease to improve efficacy, while limiting systemic uptake to ensure safety.”

“This type of innovative technology is well aligned with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s mission to improve the quality of life for the millions of Americans living with IBD, and we are pleased to support Progenity’s work through our IBD Ventures program,” said Dr. Caren Heller, Chief Scientific Officer for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.

About the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation is the leading non-profit organization focused on both research and patient support for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The Foundation's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life for the millions of Americans living with IBD. Our work is dramatically accelerating the research process through our investment initiatives; we also provide extensive educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public. For more information, visit www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org, call 888-694-8872, or email info@crohnscolitisfoundation.org.

About Progenity

Progenity, Inc. is a biotechnology company with an established track record of success in developing and commercializing molecular testing products, as well as innovating in the field of precision medicine. Progenity provides in vitro molecular tests designed to improve lives by providing actionable information that helps guide patients and physicians in making medical decisions during key life stages. The company applies a multi-omics approach, combining genomics, epigenomics, proteomics, and metabolomics to its molecular testing products and to the development of a suite of investigational ingestible devices designed to provide precise diagnostic sampling and drug delivery solutions. Progenity’s vision is to transform healthcare to become more precise and personal by improving diagnoses of disease and improving patient outcomes through localized treatment with targeted therapies.

For more information about Progenity’s products and pipeline visit www.progenity.com, or follow the company on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements,” which statements are subject to substantial risks and uncertainties and are based on estimates and assumptions. All statements, other than statements of historical facts included in this press release, including statements regarding the development our DDS platform, the potential benefits of the DDS platform, the use of proceeds of the IBD Ventures program funding and the development pipeline of therapeutic candidates that use the DDS. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “may,” “might,” “will,” “objective,” “intend,” “should,” “could,” “can,” “would,” “expect,” “believe,” “design,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” “plan” or the negative of these terms, and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements expressed or implied in this press release, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and associated shelter-in-place orders, our ability to develop and commercialize our testing products, the performance of third parties in connection with the commercialization and development of our products, regulatory developments in the United States and foreign countries, our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval or clearance of our products on expected timelines or at all, our ability to improve and enhance our products, our plans to research, develop, and commercialize new products, the development, regulatory approval, efficacy, and commercialization of competing products, the loss or retirement of key scientific or management personnel, and those risks described in “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, filed with the SEC on March 18, 2021, and other subsequent documents we file with the SEC. We claim the protection of the Safe Harbor contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 for forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation to update or alter any statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

Investor Contact:
Robert Uhl
Managing Director, Westwicke ICR
ir@progenity.com
(619) 228-5886

Media Contacts:
Kate Blom-Lowery
CG Life
media@progenity.com
(619) 743-6294

Rebecca Kaplan
Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation
rkaplan@crohnscolitisfoundation.org
201-707-6633