Drug startup will receive up to $25 million in backing from Kainos Medicines as the two firms seek to advance a treatment for dry mouth.

Kainos is based in South Korea.

Parion will be responsible for direction of Phase II clinical testing while Kainos provides chemistry, manufacturing and control support.

In early trials the drug known as P-552 has proved to be “safe and tolerable” and also showed “promising results” in the areas of mouth dryness, mouth comfort and ability to sleep.

Parion is targeting Sjorgen syndrome, a disease in which white blood cells attack the moisture-producing glands, according to the Sjorgen Syndrome Foundation.

“Sjögren’s syndrome patients are seeking effective relief of their dry mouth. By combining the talents and expertise of two proven development teams, we believe we can accelerate the clinical development of P-552 to effectively address this unmet need,” said M. Ross Johnson, chief executive officer at Parion, in a statement. “This partnership represents the second application of our portfolio of sodium channel blockers as we continue to expand Parion’s unique technology and novel compound library into other diseases requiring mucosal hydration.”

P-552 is a “sodium channel blocker.”

Parion also is developing other potential treatments targeting the body’s mucosal defenses, including chronic obstructive disorder and cystic fibrosis.