Crinetics Pharmaceuticals Awarded National Institutes of Health Small Business Innovative Research Grant to Develop GPCR Biosensors for Drug Discovery

SAN DIEGO — February 7, 2009 — San Diego-based Crinetics Pharmaceuticals announced today that it has been awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) biosensors for drug discovery applications. The grant supports the Company’s effort to expand this cutting-edge research tool to drug targets addressing important unmet medical needs and adapt the technology to formats suitable for routine use in GPCR drug discovery. GPCR biosensors are one component of the company’s emerging GPCR Dynamics assay platform.

The biological properties of drugs acting at GPCRs are determined by fundamental pharmacologic parameters such as ligand binding kinetics, intrinsic efficacy, desensitization, trafficking, and relative activation of various intracellular signaling pathways. However, these properties are not typically available with traditional static assays used to guide medicinal chemistry efforts. Instead, medicinal chemists are routinely forced to rely on binding assays and cellular functional assays that provide aggregated and potentially misleading information. Crinetics is developing its GPCR Dynamics assay platform to support both internal drug discovery programs and programs originating from corporate partners.

“GPCR biosensors let researchers see properties of drug candidates that are invisible to currently used static assays. This enables drug discovery teams to make better decisions, move faster, and reduce clinical failures,” said R. Scott Struthers Ph.D., Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Crinetics Pharmaceuticals. “The NIH SBIR program has been an important catalyst for the San Diego biotechnology community and we greatly appreciate their support at this early stage in our Company’s development.” said Dr. Struthers.

About Crinetics Pharmaceuticals

Crinetics Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a startup company located in the heart of the San Diego biotechnology community. The company is focused on developing and applying next generation pharmacology tools within an aggressive drug-hunter based culture. The company’s GPCR Dynamics Platform enables lead optimization based on fundamental pharmacologic properties typically only available for advanced clinical compounds. Our internal drug discovery pipeline is focused on endocrine GPCRs that provide biochemical proof-of-concept in early clinical studies and offer significant therapeutic advances for large markets.