NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aviko Radiopharmaceuticals, a Deerfield Management-founded biotechnology company, is advancing precision boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) to treat a variety of cancers and other diseases. Aviko has a pipeline of innovative boron medicines that are used in combination with safe, low-energy neutrons to enable BNCT. Currently there are no BNCT treatment centers in the U.S. despite overseas availability and approval in Japan. Aviko aims to form partnerships to build a BNCT ecosystem in the U.S. to bring this promising modality to patients in need.
“In spite of improvements in patient outcomes over the past several decades, there is still a significant need for cancer therapies that effectively target cancer cells while leaving healthy tissue unharmed,” said David Greenwald, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Aviko and vice president of business development at Deerfield. “With Aviko, we are building on generations of innovations in medicinal chemistry, neutron research and biopharmaceutical drug development to realize the potential of BNCT to treat some of the deadliest cancers.”
BNCT starts with a non-toxic boron medicine administered to the patient. The medicine is designed to accumulate in cancer cells while being quickly cleared from the rest of the body. The boron medicine remains inert until it is irradiated by safe, low-energy neutrons at the site of the tumor, releasing alpha particles that selectively destroy cancerous cells. BNCT is an approved treatment in Japan for locally recurrent unresectable head and neck cancer, and additional clinical research is currently underway in the EU and Asia. Aviko is committed to advancing the BNCT field in the U.S.
Aviko has been incubated at Deerfield for several years and Aviko’s boron medicines — which are designed to exhibit desired properties to enable effective BNCT — were developed by Deerfield’s drug discovery and development team.
“Deerfield is uniquely positioned to advance BNCT, a modality that requires collaboration among medical device manufactures, healthcare providers, academic medical centers and drug developers,” said James Flynn, managing partner of Deerfield Management. “Aviko is debuting today with a promising pipeline of boron medicines and will seek to build a BNCT treatment ecosystem with partners to bring this precision modality to patients in need.”
Drawn from Deerfield, Aviko’s leadership team has years of experience in drug development, company-building and business development.
About Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT)
Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) is a precision medicine approach that is being advanced to treat cancer by destroying cancerous cells while minimizing the impact to surrounding healthy tissues. BNCT uses a non-toxic boron medicine that is administered to the patient. The medicine is designed to accumulate in cancer cells while being quickly cleared from the body. The boron medicine remains inert until it is irradiated at the site of the tumor with safe, low-energy neutrons, releasing alpha particles that can destroy cancerous cells. BNCT may also have applications in treating other diseases. Currently there are 16 BNCT clinics worldwide, primarily in Asia and Europe.
About Aviko Radiopharmaceuticals
Aviko Radiopharmaceuticals is a privately held biotechnology company developing medicines to unlock the potential of boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) to treat a wide variety of cancers. Aviko’s innovative compounds are designed to improve the efficacy of BNCT by targeting and delivering boron to cancer cells with precision. Together with their partners, Aviko is advancing BNCT as a safe, efficacious and convenient treatment modality for patients. Founded by Deerfield Management, Aviko is based at Cure., a healthcare innovation campus in New York City. Follow Aviko on LinkedIn and Twitter.
About Deerfield Management
Deerfield is an investment management firm committed to advancing healthcare through investment, information, and philanthropy. The Firm works across the healthcare ecosystem to connect people, capital, ideas, and technology in bold, collaborative and inclusive ways. For more information, please visit https://deerfield.com/.