Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Pharmaceutical startup company Viewpoint Molecular Targeting, LLC, has received its fourth consecutive collaborative Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant, awarded by the National Institutes of Health, for $300,000.

The grant brings the total funding awarded to the company in the past 24 months to more than $1.2 million and will provide support for new product development that advances the company’s image-guided therapy for metastatic melanoma toward early phase clinical trials.

“We have some exciting new ideas about image-guided therapy that this funding will allow us to explore in detail,” said Michael Schultz, Chief Science Officer and associate professor of radiology and radiation oncology in the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. “We are excited about the momentum that we are experiencing and the potential that these new directions represent.”

“Our trajectory is exciting!“ says Frances Johnson, Chief Medical Officer and Adjunct associate professor of internal medicine in the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. “A big strength for us also is the experience team in Radiology and Radiation Oncology at the University of Iowa. It’s great to be working on the nuts and bolts of our FDA approvals and planning our clinical trials with a strong partner.”

Details of the new ideas supported by the most recent funding are proprietary, but the company notes that success of the project will enable submission of an investigational new drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as new pharmaceutical compositions that have the potential to further improve on its melanoma therapeutics.

Viewpoint Molecular Targeting has received assistance from UI Ventures, part of the UI Office of Research and Economic Development, which mentors faculty and staff inventors in creating new ventures based on their research.

“Mike Schultz has both the industry and academic research experience that allows him to see technical business needs and bring his research to bear on a solution,” said UI Ventures’ Director Paul Dymerski. “While our UI Ventures program helped Mike and Frances craft their value propositions, the creativity is all the Viewpoint founder’s. Viewpoint Molecular’s recent funding successes for a number of products is proof that university commercialization can work.”

Viewpoint Molecular Targeting got started formally in 2008, but was re-energized with the introduction of its lead product in 2013. Its novel image-guided therapies enable a personalized approach to select patients that can benefit most and to optimize treatment planning for its targeted therapies. Its unique “theranostic” agents possess properties for both diagnostic imaging and therapy for cancer, personalizing the selection of patients and optimizing patient care. More at http://viewpointmt.com/.

UI Ventures, part of the UI Office of Research and Economic Development (OVPR&ED), assists University of Iowa faculty and staff inventors in creating new ventures based on their research. They provide education and mentoring to advance entrepreneurs and emerging growth companies by linking them with the capital, talent and other critical resources they need for success. More at http://ventures.uiowa.edu.

OVPR&ED provides resources and support to researchers and scholars at the University of Iowa and to businesses across Iowa with the goal of forging new frontiers of discovery and innovation and promoting a culture of creativity that benefits the campus, the state, and the world. More at http://research.uiowa.edu, and on Twitter: @DaretoDiscover.