NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Oct. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Actinobac Biomed Inc., has received a $905,040 Small Business Technology Transfer Grant (STTR) Phase II Award from the National Institutes of Health/ National Cancer Institute to continue to develop its drug candidate, Leukothera®, as a potential treatment for B-cell lymphomas.
"This NIH grant supports our assertion that Actinobac scientists are working on breakthrough research that can make a tremendous difference for people suffering with leukemia, lymphoma and other diseases," said George F. Heinrich, M.D., vice chair and CEO of Foundation Venture Capital Group, an affiliate of New Jersey Health Foundation, which originally funded Actinobac with an investment.
Actinobac's CEO and Senior Chemist, Benjamin Belinka, PhD, principal investigator, says this award will allow the company to carry out pre-clinical studies leading to the filing of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the FDA that would allow the company to eventually begin testing Leukothera® in humans.
Leukothera® is a natural biologic agent that specifically targets and depletes disease related white blood cells. In Actinobac studies to date, malignant and proinflammatory white blood cells have been determined to be significantly more sensitive to Leukothera® than normal white blood cells.
"Because our preclinical efficacy studies have already shown that Leukothera® is highly effective at eliminating cancerous white blood cells in diseased animals, we anticipate that we'll continue to see efficacy for leukemia and lymphoma in humans," explained Dr. Belinka. "This grant from the NCI validates our belief that Leukothera® may prove to be transformational for patients suffering from B-cell lymphoma and other blood cancers."
A unique feature of the STTR program is the opportunity for small business applicants to formally collaborate with research institutions. This project is being conducted in collaboration with Scott Kachlany, PhD, founder of Actinobac and associate professor at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, and Joseph R. Bertino, M.D., chief scientific officer at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.
The one-year grant is renewable for a second year at the same level of funding.
Actinobac Biomed, Inc. has exclusively licensed the rights to develop Leukothera® as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of hematologic malignancies (leukemias and lymphomas), autoimmune and inflammatory diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, type 1 diabetes, lupus, dry eye, asthma and psoriasis) and HIV infection.
For more information or to explore ways in which to partner with Actinobac, contact them at (732) 371-2694, [email protected] or visit www.actinobac.com. Additional information about Foundation Venture Capital Group can be obtained by contacting Jim Golubieski at (908) 731-6601, [email protected] or visiting www.foundationventure.com.
About Foundation Venture Capital Group
Foundation Venture Capital Group makes private equity investments in biomedical start- up companies in New Jersey headed toward commercialization.
SOURCE Foundation Venture Capital Group