Coralville, IA-based drug therapy company receives critical funding for first-in-human clinical trials of its melanoma detection and treatment drug at world renowned hospital
OCTOBER 14, 2019—CORALVILLE, IA—Viewpoint Molecular Targeting, Inc., a University of Iowa start-up pharmaceutical company that has developed novel therapy and companion diagnostics for cancer, announced that it has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant valued at $2 million from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
The award will support preclinical development and a first in humans Phase 1 clinical imaging trial of its melanoma detection and treatment drug, VMT01. The trial will be conducted in Rochester, MN to image tumors in patients with metastatic melanoma in advance of therapy trials. The information gained from this study will establish drug safety, predict specific targeting of the cancer, and determine a safe dosing schedule for subsequent treatment.
“This award is an excellent next step in advancing Viewpoint’s new therapy to the clinical stage and we could not be more excited about our progress,” said Viewpoint’s Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer Michael Schultz.
Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer Frances Johnson continued, “This award validates our work to date, expands our clinical trial sites, and is a critical step toward bringing our targeted cancer therapies to patients.”
Viewpoint has successfully secured over $6 million through seed capital investments, multiple NIH SBIR grants, Iowa Economic Development Authority funds, Iowa Innovation Corporation funds, Wellmark funds and business pitch competition awards. The current award propels the company into clinical trials for its lead product, with other cancer therapy products in the development pipeline.
About Viewpoint Molecular Targeting
Viewpoint Molecular Targeting develops therapies and diagnostics for cancer, with a focus on metastatic melanoma and neuroendocrine tumors. Its lead products, VMT01 and VMT-α-NET, are injectable radiopharmaceuticals. The diagnostic products can be used to determine the location and extent of cancerous tumors in the body and then the therapeutic forms can deliver a therapeutic radioisotope precisely to the targeted cancer cells. This represents a new class of drugs called Theranostics.
Viewpoint’s products are in the development stage and are not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
About NIH SBIR Program
The NIH SBIR program funds early stage small businesses that are seeking to commercialize innovative biomedical technologies. This competitive program helps small business participate in federal research and development to produce life-saving technologies and create jobs. The project described above has been supported under NIH/NCI Phase II SBIR grant R44CA203430-02A1 (PI JohnsonFL).