Texas Awards $15.4 Million to Southlake Biotech Firm Testing Cancer Detection Method

A Southlake biotech company is receiving its second multimillion-dollar boost from Texas' cancer-fighting agency to bring its tumor-detecting method to market.OncoNano Medicine pulled in $15.4 million in the latest round of funding approved by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. It's part of more than $36 million awarded to Dallas-Fort Worth researchers and health care institutions. An additional $1.95 million will go toward prevention efforts in East Texas.OncoNano, which received $6 million from the state in 2016, is conducting clinical trials on injectable fluorescent compounds that help cancer surgeons visualize diseased tissues, allowing more precise removal. The compounds were invented at UT Southwestern Medical Center by Drs. Jinming Gao and Baran Sumer, who co-founded OncoNano in 2014.The company is led by another founder, Ravi Srinivasan. OncoNano also has raised $35.4 million from private investors in funding rounds led by Salem Partners, a Los Angeles investment banking firm.Earlier this year, OncoNano said its imaging agent was able to detect cancer that was "otherwise missed by standard surgery and pathology" in Phase 1 trials involving 30 patients. It presented the results at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago.In July, the company said it was entering Phase 2 trials of the intravenously administered compounds, which detect tumors and metastatic lymph nodes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has fast-tracked the trials for an expedited review.  Continue reading...

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