LAKE FOREST, Ill., July 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Monopar Therapeutics LLC, an emerging biopharmaceutical company focused on developing orphan oncology compounds, has reached an agreement with Cancer Research UK and Cancer Research Technology (CRT) to take forward Monopar's experimental antibody treatment HuATN-658 into clinical trials in cancer patients with advanced solid tumors. HuATN-658 is an antibody that targets the cell surface protein uPAR, which is found in high levels in some of the most deadly cancers.
Under the agreement, Cancer Research UK's Centre For Drug Development (CDD) will finance and complete preclinical development of HuATN-658 and conduct a Phase 1 clinical trial in cancer patients. While drug efficacy will be monitored, the trial's main objective will be to evaluate the safety of the antibody. The trial will be managed and run by the CDD through the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) network, a UK-wide initiative funded by Cancer Research UK and the UK's four Health Departments. Upon completion of the clinical trial, Monopar has the right to acquire the clinical trial data. If Monopar declines the option, CRT may continue the development and commercialization of HuATN-658 in exchange for a share to Monopar of any future revenue from the drug.
Chandler D. Robinson, MD, MBA, MSc, co-founder and CEO of Monopar Therapeutics, said, "This partnership, together with the completion of our first tranche of financing, are important steps in our establishment of Monopar as an emerging oncology therapeutics company. We are very excited with our orphan oncology development strategy and proud of the experienced founding team we have assembled. HuATN-658, our lead compound, was discovered by our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Andrew Mazar, one of the world's experts on the uPAR pathway. The development partnership with Cancer Research UK allows Monopar to leverage a strong platform for the clinical advancement of this compound as the group brings long established clinical, regulatory, and manufacturing expertise and resources that would be difficult for an emerging company like Monopar to amass quickly."
Christopher M. Starr, Ph.D., co-founder and former CEO of Raptor Pharmaceuticals and co-founder and Executive Chairman of Monopar Therapeutics, said, "A partnership with Cancer Research UK is a strong first step in Monopar's pipeline development and has the potential to validate HuATN-658 as an oncology therapeutic. Cancer Research UK is recognized globally for having the quality, capability and track record of successfully advancing clinical stage drug development programs. This is an important development milestone for HuATN-658, and we are looking forward to building an exciting pipeline of orphan oncology drug candidates at Monopar."
Dr. Nigel Blackburn, Cancer Research UK's Director of Drug Development, said, "We're excited to be working with Monopar Therapeutics to take this promising new treatment a step further on its journey towards the clinic. The collaboration forms part of our Clinical Development Partnerships scheme, which aims to help progress promising treatments from drug company pipelines and bring them into early phase trials sooner. Thanks to this, six new treatments are now in clinical trials that may otherwise never have moved beyond the lab."
About Monopar Therapeutics
Monopar Therapeutics' mission is to develop life-altering orphan oncology therapeutics. Monopar was formed in 2014 as a privately-held company and has established a collaboration with Cancer Research UK / Cancer Research Technology to develop Monopar's initial drug candidate HuATN-658, an anti-uPAR monoclonal antibody for the treatment of cancer. In addition, Monopar is actively seeking to license or purchase clinical-stage oncology drug candidates for development and ultimately commercialization. For more information about Monopar Therapeutics visit http://monopartherapeutics.com.
About Cancer Research Technology
Cancer Research Technology (CRT) is a specialist commercialisation and development company, which aims to develop new discoveries in cancer research for the benefit of cancer patients. CRT works closely with leading international cancer scientists and their institutes to protect intellectual property arising from their research and to establish links with commercial partners. CRT facilitates the discovery, development and marketing of new cancer therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics and enabling technologies. CRT is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cancer Research UK, the world's leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Further information about CRT can be found at www.cancertechnology.com.
About Cancer Research UK
- Cancer Research UK is the world's leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.
- Cancer Research UK's pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
- Cancer Research UK receives no government funding for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on every pound donated.
- Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates in the UK double in the last forty years.
- Today, 2 in 4 people survive cancer. Cancer Research UK's ambition is to accelerate progress so that 3 in 4 people will survive cancer within the next 20 years.
- Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
- Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
For Monopar Therapeutics:
For Cancer Research UK:
Press office 44 203 469 8300
Or the out-of-hours Duty Press Officer
44 7050 264 059
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SOURCE Monopar Therapeutics LLC
Released July 9, 2015