LOS ANGELES, Oct. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- ImaginAb, Inc. is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a total of $2.3 million in funding from the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to help further develop diagnostic imaging agents for Positron Emission Tomography (PET). Over the past 20 years, PET has evolved into a powerful and highly valued tool for the clinical management of cancer but many important areas of oncology still lack effective diagnostic and staging tools – particularly pancreatic and prostate cancer. It is estimated that over 70,000 people in the United States alone die of pancreatic and prostate cancer annually. ImaginAb's Head of Pre-Clinical Development, Dr. David Ho, will be the Principal Investigator in close collaboration with Dr. David Colcher at the City of Hope (Duarte, CA). ImaginAb will use this funding over the next two years to further accelerate its clinical program.
"The NCI SBIR program has become a very important source of financing for early-stage oncology companies, particularly considering the lack of risk capital available and changes in the early stage venture capital landscape over the past few years," noted Dr. Christian Behrenbruch, CEO of ImaginAb. "These funds from the NCI will be invested alongside ImaginAb resources to help drive our prostate and pancreatic oncology program ahead even more aggressively. The NCI has been a true partner in helping move our technology forward and have provided not only funding, but also access to clinical expertise and relationships with potential investors and pharma."
"For a company the size of ImaginAb, the NCI SBIR program is an invaluable source of funds that will greatly help with moving our lead products closer to commercialization," commented Jenny Keppler, ImaginAb's President and Chief Operating Officer. "The highly competitive and peer-reviewed nature of NCI funding ensures that the most promising research is given an opportunity for development and commercialization."
About ImaginAb, Inc.
Founded in 2007 by UCLA Faculty (Drs. Robert Reiter, Anna Wu and Christian Behrenbruch), ImaginAb, Inc. is a biotechnology company specializing in the development of engineered antibody fragments for diagnostic imaging and novel therapeutic applications. The company has a significant pipeline of clinical products in development oriented towards unmet needs in cancer and immunology. ImaginAb is also developing a range of pre-clinical (animal imaging) reagents for use with microPET, microSPECT and optical imaging systems, and partners on a selective basis with biopharmaceutical companies with an interest in developing companion imaging agents for therapeutic antibody products. For more information about ImaginAb, visit www.imaginab.com.
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SOURCE ImaginAb, Inc.