Grant to support expanded application of lead product, ONM-100, for imaging metastatic disease that may have gone undetected
SOUTHLAKE, Texas – August 20, 2020 – OncoNano Medicine, Inc. today announced that it has been awarded $9.97 million from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to expand the application of its lead product, ONM-100, an innovative imaging agent used in intraoperative surgical resection of solid tumors, for imaging metastatic disease.
This grant adds to the initial $6 million that the company received from CPRIT in 2014 for the advancement of ONM-100 to intraoperatively image tumors during surgical resection. ONM-100 was granted a Fast Track designation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials.
During these trials, researchers discovered that ONM-100 can also be used to image and stage metastatic disease, which represents 45-50% of all cancer diagnoses and is responsible for 90% of patient deaths. Improvement in visualization of metastatic disease, both preoperatively and during surgery, is critical for initial diagnosis, accurate staging, therapeutic choice and efficacy, and is closely tied to patient survival. The grant from CPRIT will enable the company to expand the application of ONM-100 to the identification of metastatic disease in the peritoneum, lymph nodes and pleural surfaces – areas that comprise 40% of metastatic disease and result from primary tumors originating from numerous cancer types.
“With limited tools available today that allow doctors to visualize tumors that have metastasized, especially small and disperse ones often characteristic of metastatic disease, the funding we received from CPRIT for our pH-sensitive micelle approach for imaging metastatic disease has the potential to solve a tremendous unmet need,” said Ravi Srinivasan, Ph.D., CEO of OncoNano Medicine. “CPRIT has been our partner since our founding and we greatly appreciate their ongoing support as we bring our technologies through development to benefit patients.”
In addition to the grants received for ONM-100, OncoNano was awarded $15.4 million from CPRIT in August 2019 to advance ONM-500, which leverages its proprietary pHsensitive micelle technology to deliver antigens while activating innate immunity for the treatment of cancers caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).
“CPRIT continues to be impressed with OncoNano Medicine’s outcomes using their unique micelle technology to detect metastatic cancer,” said Cindy WalkerPeach, PhD, Chief Product Development Officer at CPRIT. “We’re looking forward to successful clinical trials that clearly demonstrate favorable impact to cancer patient care.”
About the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas
To date, CPRIT has awarded $2.6 billion in grants to Texas research institutions and organizations through its academic research, prevention, and product development research programs. CPRIT has recruited 213 distinguished researchers, supported the establishment, expansion or relocation of 42 companies to Texas, and generated over $5 billion in additional public and private investment. CPRIT funding has advanced scientific and clinical knowledge and provided 6.6 million life-saving cancer prevention and early detection services reaching Texans from all 254 counties. On November 5, 2019, Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment to provide an additional $3 billion to CPRIT for a total $6 billion investment in cancer research and prevention.
ONM-100 is OncoNano’s lead product candidate that utilizes the pH-sensitive micelle platform to encapsulate a fluorescent tag and exploit a universal biomarker of all solid cancers – the relatively acidic pH of the tumor microenvironment – to intraoperatively image tumors. ONM100 micelles remain inactive at normal physiological pH until exposure to the acidic tumor microenvironment triggers micelle dissociation and fluorescent tag expression, making tumors visible during surgery with standard surgical imaging equipment. ONM-100 is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials. ONM-100 was partially funded for clinical research by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
About OncoNano Medicine
OncoNano Medicine is developing a new class of products that exploit pH as a biomarker to diagnose and treat cancer with high specificity. Our product candidates are designed to help patients across the continuum of cancer care and include solid tumor therapeutics, agents for real-time image-guided surgery and a platform of product candidates that activate and guide the body’s immune system to target cancer. Learn more at OncoNano.com.
Lauren Arnold, 781-235-3060