Metastatix, a startup drug development firm, has launched a Phase I clinical trial of a potential cancer drug.

The compound, MSX-122, recently was approved for testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It will be tested on patients with late-stage solid tumors. The primary focus is to determine the safety of the drug.

Metastatix was founded in 2005. The company’s technology is licensed from Emory University. The firm is targeting HIV and cancer.

In September, Metastatix closed on $35 million in new venture financing. Backers include H.I.G. ventures and the Aurora Funds.

As its name implies the company targets cancer that has metastasized, or spread. According to the company, Metastatix’s lead compound is able to inhibit both primary tumor growth as well as prevent metastasis.

The technology was developed at Emory by Dr. Dennis Liotta. Liotta discovered three drugs that are now commercial, including Gilead’s Emtriva, which part of the world’s top selling HIV cocktail, Truvada.