OncoNano Expands Research Collaboration with UT Southwestern to Advance New Cancer Therapies ”Dallas Innovates



Southlake-based OncoNano Medicine, a clinical-stage company that uses molecular cooperativity in the design of drugs to diagnose and treat cancer, today announced it is expanding its collaboration with UT Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) . The multi-year collaboration will focus on the discovery and research of new cancer therapies that take advantage of OncoNano’s nanotechnology platform, which can “light up” cancer for real-time surgical imaging.

OncoNano will sponsor research efforts in the laboratory of Professor Jinming Gao at UTSW, with the goal of discovering new cancer therapies that may benefit OncoNano’s ultra-pH sensitive polymer micelles.

In return, OncoNano will have an exclusive license option on new technologies resulting from research carried out under this agreement.

“We are delighted to expand our research collaboration with UT Southwestern Medical Center and the prominent UTSW laboratory led by Dr. Jinming Gao,” OncoNano CEO Martin Driscoll said in a statement. “UTSW’s rich scientific discovery environment, combined with world-class translational research capabilities, provides our scientists with a wonderful opportunity to engage in a multi-year cooperative research effort to leverage our technology platform. base and further advance new cancer therapies into clinical development. “

OncoNano technology visualizes carcinoma of the tongue in real time during surgery in a phase 1 clinical trial. [Image: OncoNano]

Dr Gao and his team invented the technology

UTSW’s Dr. Gao and his team invented the ultra-pH sensitive nanoparticle technology that is the core of OncoNano’s differentiated oncology research platform.

“OncoNano’s multi-year support for basic research will expand our ability to harness the design of molecular cooperativity that integrates pathophysiological responses in the development of tumor-activatable compounds with increased therapeutic windows,” said Dr. Gao, Professor of Oncology, Pharmacology, and Cell Biology at UTSW’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr Gao is also Scientific Director of OncoNano.

“We are working to expand the micellar technology platform developed at UTSW so that it can be used to deliver additional payloads,” Dr. Gao said in the release, “including therapeutic proteins such as cytokines , checkpoint inhibitors and bispecific antibodies. We look forward to this research collaboration with OncoNano Medicine to continuously translate laboratory findings into potentially important clinical applications. “

OncoNano advances two development programs

OncoNano is currently working on two development programs that exploit ultra-pH sensitive nanoparticle technology.

Pegsitacianin, a fluorescent nanoprobe for real-time surgical imaging, is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials for several types of cancerous tumors.

ONM-501, a novel, versatile, double-activated STING (STimulator of INterfernoon Genes) agonist for immuno-oncology applications, is moving towards its first study in humans, currently scheduled for early 2023.

Presentation at the World Molecular Imaging Congress

OncoNano will be at the World Molecular Imaging Congress on October 8 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Presenter Dr. Jason Newman will discuss “Fluorescence Image-Guided Surgical Resection of Solid Tumors Using Pegsitacianin, a pH-sensitive Micellar Imaging Agent: Summary of a Phase 2 Study in Classes. This year’s WMIC will be held virtually October 6-9.

OncoNano raised $ 50 million in Series B funding in June

In June, OncoNano raised approximately $ 50 million in Series B funding to continue the momentum of its technology. The investment was led by the healthcare investment team of Advantech Capital, a China-based private equity fund that focuses on growth opportunities in TMT, pharmaceuticals and health care.

A portion of the funding will support OncoNano’s Phase 3 clinical trials in the United States and Europe for pegsitacianin. OncoNano describes the trials as “pivotal points”.

Previous funding

In August 2020, OncoNano received a $ 10 million grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to expand the uses of its innovative flagship product, OHM-100, which “lights up” a tumor to distinguish it from normal tissue.

OncoNano had previously received two other CPRIT grants: a $ 15.4 million grant in August 2019 to advance ONM-500, an oncology product that also leverages the company’s proprietary pH-sensitive technology, and a $ 6 million grant in 2016 to advance ONM-100. .

In May 2018, OncoNano received $ 11.7 million in Series A funding. This was followed by an additional $ 23.7 million in a second Series A funding round, bringing the Series A total. to $ 35.4 million. Both transactions were arranged by Salem Partners, who also participated as lead investor.

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