RALEIGH – Advanced Chemotherapy Technologies, a Raleigh startyp focused on new means of targeting drug delivery to fight diseases such as pancreative cancer, has landed another $2.5 million in venture capital.
The investment from Nebraska-based Spectrum Financial follows a $5.5 million fund raiser last fall led by Silicon Valley VC firm Khosla Venture.
The new funds will be used to advance its system known as ACT-IOP-003 for treatment of pancreatic cancer.
The drug delivery system – which is implantable and utilizes a mild electrical current – was developed in the labs of Jen Jen Yeh, MD, and serial inventor/entrepreneur Joseph M. DeSimone, PhD, at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill and is licensed from UNC They also are members of ACT’s board.
ACT says that in preclinical studies, “100% of pancreatic cancer tumors treated with the device using gemcitabine shrunk by an average of 40%, while tumors treated with intraveneously delivered gemcitabine grew an average of 240%.”
“We are thrilled to bring on additional investors of the quality of Spectrum Financial. Closing additional Series A funding, during these uncertain times, further validates Advanced Chemotherapy Technologies disruptive approach to local drug delivery for treating solid tumors. This funding accelerates our ability to start clinical trials for our lead product in pancreatic tumors, one of the deadlist of all cancers,” said Tony Voiers, CEO of ACT, in the funding announcement.
Here’s how the system works, according to ACT:
“For pancreatic cancer, the ACT-IOP-003 system will be used to deliver the chemotherapy drug, gemcitabine, through the dense tumor microenvironment, directly to the tumor, while also minimizing the systemic toxicity commonly associated with chemotherapy treatments for pancreatic cancer. This approach offers three major advantages over traditional systemic chemotherapy: (1) Superior delivery of chemotherapy to the tumor cells, greatly increasing the amount of drug to treat the tumor, (2) Tumor shrinkage that can enable surgical resection, the only curative treatment for pancreatic cancer, and (3) Greatly decreased systemic toxicity so that the patient can remain in treatment.
“This novel implantable drug delivery system uses a mild electrical current (iontophoresis) and can deliver a wide range of drugs directly to the local tumor.”