RadioMedix, Inc. and Viewpoint Molecular Targeting LLC have been awarded a grant by the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program from the National Cancer Institute.
This Phase I award of $150,000 will be used to develop novel agents for improved targeted imaging and alpha-particle therapy of metastatic melanoma.
Two major factors contributing for the low efficiency of currently used methods in the treatment of metastatic melanoma, are heterogeneity of this type of malignancy and its capacity to develop drug resistance.
Current systemic therapies can only induce tumor responses in only 5 to 20% of all patients.
“Our theranostic agents can differentiate cancer cells from normal cells based on differences in their metabolic pathways. This highly competitive NCI award will accelerate development of more effective methods of selective delivery of radiation to cancer cells, while reducing radiation exposure of normal tissues. This is a great step for our companies and we are pleased with the NCI decision,” Dr. Izabela Tworowska, the Principal Investigator on this grant and Chief Science Officer at RadioMedix said in a press release.
Dr. Tworowska and Dr. Michael K. Schultz, Viewpoint CSO and an Associate Professor of Radiology and Radiation Oncology at the University of Iowa, will work together in the development of the new technologies. “This grant represents an important milestone for our co-development work with Radiomedix. Our new technologies have great potential to improve therapy for metastatic melanoma patients”, added Dr. Schultz.
RadioMedix was responsible for the development of two service facilities aimed at academic and industrial collaborators, the cGMP Manufacturing Suite for clinical probe development and Molecular Imaging Facility for evaluation of agents in animal models. Furthermore, the company has successfully finished the development of GlucoMedix™, a radiolabeled theranostic agent that detects the glycolytic pathway in cancer cells.
Viewpoint Molecular Targeting, LLC is focused on the development of drugs for diagnostic imaging and therapy of metastatic melanoma.
The company specializes in image-guided therapies, theranostic agents that allow diagnostic imaging and selection of which specific patients will benefit the most from the targeted therapies for cancer.
“Although a significant research progress has been made in recent years, there are limited numbers of diagnostic and therapeutic agents available for patients with progressive metastatic melanoma. As a clinician, I understand the urgent need for access to more sensitive and specific methods of diagnosis and more effective personalized treatment”, Dr. Ebrahim S. Delpassand, CEO and Chairman of RadioMedix Inc said in the press release. ”We are expecting to initiate first-in-human studies of these agents in 2015”.