Gainesville and Boca Raton, FL — February 14, 2013
The Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research (the Institute) announced today that it has finalized a funding agreement with Modulation Therapeutics, an early-stage pharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of novel treatments for multiple myeloma. The Institute works with Florida’s research universities and institutions to support new company creation and job growth, and this program bridges funding gaps, enabling recipients to reach critical milestones and attract additional private investment capital.
Modulation Therapeutics, based on technology licensed from the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, focuses on cancers such as multiple myeloma that home or metastasize to the bone. The company is developing MTI-101, a drug with a novel, first in class mechanism of action for myeloma, an incurable blood cancer. “Support from the Institute will enable us to trigger studies to better understand the dosing, toxicology and optimal clinical program for MTI-101, bringing us closer to our goal of IND filing by Q4 2013,” said Michael Cerio, interim CEO of Modulation Therapeutics. “This funding comes at a critical time in our development and, paired with funding we recently received from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, the company is poised to take its first in class therapy into the clinic.
“Modulation Therapeutics is addressing a previously unmet need to treat Myeloma and the devastating prognosis that it delivers, said Jamie Grooms, Institute Chief Executive Officer. “Companies like Modulation Therapeutics are developing novel therapies targeting some of the most dreaded diseases we face today, and contribute much to the development of Florida’s life sciences industry cluster.”
About the Institute
Formed by the Florida Legislature in 2007, the Institute for Commercialization of Public Research is a non-profit organization that works collaboratively with the technology licensing and commercialization offices of Florida’s eleven state universities and private research institutions to leverage a $2B+ research base and form investable companies that create clean jobs in new industries that are driving the global economy. The Institute’s proven, two-pronged approach includes both company building and company funding programs, ensuring that the most promising startups receive the support and capital they need in order to grow. Over 100 new company projects have been identified across the state, and in 2011 the Institute began deploying a $10M Seed Capital Accelerator Program which provides “repayable upon liquidity” loans to qualifying companies. Over 70 companies have applied for funding, with 19 approved and 11 funded to date, for a total of $3.3M. Funded companies have raised in excess of $10M in additional private investment capital, and direct jobs are being created at an average salary of $74,000 per year.
About Modulation Therapeutics
Modulation Therapeutics is a pharmaceutical company developing its lead candidate MTI-101, a novel treatment with a first-in-class mechanism, for Multiple Myeloma. We are dedicated to improving patient outcomes by developing novel approaches to treating cancers that originate in or metastasize to bone. For more information about Modulation Therapeutics please visit http://www.modulationtherapeutics.com
Norwalk, CT — June 7, 2012
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) today announced that it has awarded $500,000 through its Biotech Investment Award (BIA) program to Modulation Therapeutics. Since the inception of this MMRF program in 2006, $11.5 million has been committed to 12 biotech companies in multi-year, results-driven funding for the development of innovative treatments for patients with multiple myeloma.
The MMRF Biotech Investment Award funding for Modulation Therapeutics will support the clinical development of its proprietary approach for treating tumors that home or metastasize to the bone. William S. Dalton, Ph.D., M.D., and colleagues first reported that cell adhesion mediated drug resistance or CAM-DR can contribute to drug resistance in multiple myeloma. The critical importance of targeting CAM-DR in mediating the progression of multiple myeloma has become increasingly clear in recent years based on work supported by the MMRF in the laboratory of Lori Hazlehurst, Ph.D., Associate Member in the Molecular Oncology Program at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and co-founder of Modulation Therapeutics.
The company’s lead candidate MTI-101 binds the cell adhesion molecule CD44 and induces programmed necrosis in myeloma cell lines and demonstrates robust anti-tumor activity as a single agent using myeloma in vivo models. While standard therapy typically induces apoptotic cell death, MTI-101 targets alternative cell death pathways critical for the treatment of refractory disease. In support of this premise, data generated using myeloma patient specimens suggest that MTI-101 may prove most effective in cases of relapsed myeloma.
“This BIA funding and the early support of the MMRF is critical for accelerating MTI-101 into clinical trials in multiple myeloma, the first of multiple indications we hope to pursue,” said Dr. Hazlehurst. "Modulation Therapeutics is committed to developing peptides targeting key cell adhesion molecules that mediate homing, engraftment and survival of tumor cells in bone marrow, an approach we hope will ultimately enable novel therapies meeting the significant unmet need in multiple myeloma.”
Several MMRF Biotech Investment Awards program recipients have already released impressive clinical trial results with novel therapies, including Tragara Pharmaceuticals (TG02), Astex Pharmaceuticals (AT7519) and Intellikine (acquired in 2011 by Takeda Pharmaceuticals; INK128). AT7519 and INK128 are in parallel studies run by MMRF sister organization, the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC).
"It is critical to support the development of novel approaches to treat multiple myeloma as the survival rate for multiple myeloma remains one of the lowest of any cancer. This recent award affirms our commitment to the next generation of therapeutics for patients," said Louise M. Perkins, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of the MMRF.
About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy's diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world's number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised over $190 million since its inception and directs 90% of total budget to research and related programming. As a result, the MMRF has been awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted four star rating for nine consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency. For more information about the MMRF, please visit www.themmrf.org.
About Modulation Therapeutics
Modulation Therapeutics is an early-stage pharmaceutical company which has licensed MTI-101 from the Moffitt Cancer Center. We are dedicated towards improving patient outcomes by developing novel approaches for targeting cell adhesion molecules critical for mediating drug resistance and survival of tumor cells. For more information about Modulation Therapeutics please visit http://www.modulationtherapeutics.com