Houston, TX, Aug. 27, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Viewpoint Molecular Targeting LLC.(Iowa City, IO) and RadioMedix Inc. (Houston TX) partnership resulted in the second Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. This award will allow for development of novel probes targeting metastatic melanoma using Viewpoint MT technology. The theranostic agents have been already validated in pre-clinical studies and confirmed both high selectivity of tumor targeting as well efficacy in regression of tumor growth in mice.
The incidence of melanoma has been increasing for the last 30 years. The metastatic melanoma is almost uniformly fatal due to the development of resistance to all approved therapies. Recent discoveries of genetic mutations (e.g. BRAF/NRAS) present in some melanoma patients have led to new FDA approved therapies, but treatments based on these discoveries extend life expectancy by only months, with severe side effects. Thus, there is a clinical need for design of targeted theranostic agents that can be applied for both radionuclide imaging and radiotherapy of metastatic melanoma patients.
“Viewpoint MT company has an aggressive business plan to commercialize novel radioteranostic agents and to establish novel platform for diagnosis and image guided therapy of melanoma patients” confirmed Frances Johnson M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Viewpoint. “We are committed to initiate clinical studies in melanoma patients in 2016 with support our business partner, RadioMedix Inc and Excel Oncology Clinic”.
“We have established a very successful collaboration with Viewpoint’s colleagues that resulted in a positive feedback and funding support from NCI. This second SBIR grant award validates our research and clinical efforts and multi-targeting approach for management of melanoma cancer”, confirmed Izabela Tworowska, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer of RadioMedix.
“We are grateful for selection of the radiotheranostic project for funding by NIH/NCI agenies”, said Michael Schultz, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer of ViewpointMT and Associate Professor of Department of Radiation Oncology and Radiology at University of Iowa. “We envision centralized production of our high activity VMT probes to make them available for patients through network of radiopharmacies and clinical sites.
RadioMedix, Inc. is a clinical phase biotechnology company focused on commercialization of innovative targeted radiopharmaceuticals for diagnosis, monitoring and therapy of cancer. The company is interested in translational studies of the generator-produced radiopharmaceuticals based on Gallium-68 and Lead-212 chemistry. RadioMedix has also established two service facilities for academic and industrial partners: cGMP Manufacturing Suite for clinical probe development and Molecular Imaging Facility for evaluation of agents in animal models. RadioMedix completed late-stage development of radiolabeled theranostic agents targeting metabolic pathway, GlucoMedix™. The company is a co-sponsor and collaborator on the clinical trials of GalioMedix™ (68Ga-DOTATATE- IND 117289), 177Lu-DOTATATE (IND 78256) used for management and therapy of patient with neuroendocrine tumors, respectively. RadioMedix has recently initiated the first in-human studies of novel kidney radio-protective composition used for patients undergoing peptide receptor targeted therapy-PRRT (IND 118766). RadioMedix was also granted the Orphan Drug Designation status for GalioMedix™ by FDA in December 2013.
Viewpoint Molecular Targeting, LLC develops pharmaceutical drugs for diagnostic imaging and therapy for cancer, with a focus on metastatic melanoma. Our novel image-guided therapies enable a personalized approach to select patients that can benefit most and to optimize treatment planning for our targeted therapies. Our unique “theranostic” agents possess properties for both diagnostic imaging and therapy for cancer, personalizing the selection of patients and optimizing patient care. Viewpoint MT has been recently selected for prestigious funding by Iowa Economic Development Authority and Innovation Iowa Corporation.