SOUTHLAKE, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OncoNano Medicine, Inc. today announced that it has been awarded $15.4 million from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to advance ONM-500, one of OncoNano’s innovative oncology product candidates. In ONM-500, OncoNano leverages its proprietary pH-sensitive micelle technology to deliver antigens while activating innate immunity for the treatment of cancers caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). This grant award adds to an initial $6 million grant that the company received from CPRIT in 2014 for advancement of the company’s ONM-100, where OncoNano’s micelle technology is being used to intraoperatively image tumors during surgical resection, currently in Phase 2 clinical trials.
“We are excited to be awarded this impactful grant and are extremely grateful to CPRIT for their continued recognition and support of the development of OncoNano’s technology platform for identifying and treating cancer in its various forms,” says Ravi Srinivasan, Ph.D., CEO of OncoNano Medicine. “Our pH-sensitive micelle approach to cancer therapy with ONM-500 and our other product candidates have the potential to meaningfully advance cancer-specific targeting and administration.”
In part utilizing CPRIT-funded technology first invented at UT Southwestern Medical Center, ONM-500 combines contemporary advances in immunoadjuvant therapy with OncoNano’s proprietary pH-sensitive micelle delivery technology to recruit the body’s own immune system to attack cancer cells. An HPV tumor-specific antigen is packaged into immune-activating micelles that, when intradermally injected, accumulate in the lymph nodes and are endocytosed by dendritic cells. The relatively lower pH of intracellular endosomes causes the micelles to dissociate, resulting in the intracellular release of the antigen, activation of STING (STimulator of INterferon Genes) and subsequent activation of the body’s own T-cells directed at the tumor. Through the delivery of an antigen by the STING-activating micelle, the ONM-500 immunoadjuvant complex enables a targeted and orchestrated attack on cancer cells. With this grant, OncoNano will continue advancing ONM-500 through pre-clinical development towards the clinical stage where there is a substantial unmet patient need for therapies to treat cancers caused by HPV.
“This award emphasizes CPRIT’s priority of investing in early translational research into cancer detection, prevention, and treatment. OncoNano’s technologies have significant potential for breakthroughs in cancer detection and treatment,” said Wayne Roberts, CEO of CPRIT. “Nurturing projects like OncoNano’s will continue to make Texas a hub for scientific advancement and innovation. I look forward to OncoNano’s progress as they take their technologies through development.”
About the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas
To date, CPRIT has awarded $2.4 billion in grants to Texas research institutions and organizations through its academic research, prevention, and product development research programs. CPRIT has recruited 181 distinguished researchers; supported the establishment, expansion, or relocation of 37 companies to Texas, and generated $3 billion in additional public and private investment. CPRIT funding has advanced scientific and clinical knowledge and provided 5.7 million life-saving cancer prevention and early detection services reaching Texans from all 254 counties.
About OncoNano Medicine
OncoNano Medicine is developing a new class of pH-activated compounds that digitalize and exploit the variability of pH in disease. pH variability is a proven, simple, and effective identifier of diseased tissue providing a foundation for the development of a broad range of highly targeted therapeutics and imaging agents. OncoNano is the first company to advance product candidates using pH as a biomarker for cancer immunotherapy, therapeutic use and intraoperative imaging based on its pH-sensitive micelle technology.