EDC is proud to support a variety of high-impact Iowa businesses at all stages. One of those, Viewpoint Molecular Targeting, is a biotech startup based in Coralville that has developed cancer diagnostics and treatment products that are safer for patients. We hope that you enjoy reading about this exciting Iowa business that is making an impact on cancer diagnosis and treatment. 

Ground-Breaking Treatment for Hard-to-Treat Cancers

One of the biggest challenges with cancer treatment is that many times, the treatment can be as hard on the body as the disease itself, with many treatments pumping dangerous chemicals throughout the body’s entire system or to a much larger area than the tumor it is fighting. Enter Viewpoint Molecular Targeting (VMT) — a radiopharmaceutical company based out of the University of Iowa BioVentures Center in Coralville, that has been diligently developing more targeted, safer cancer diagnostic and treatment products.

VMT’s leading alpha-particle radiotherapies are designed to deliver powerful alpha radiation specifically to cancer cells utilizing specialized targeting peptides. VMT is also developing complementary diagnostics that utilize the same targeting peptide which provide the opportunity to personalize treatment and optimize patient outcomes in a cost-effective way. This “theranostic” approach enables the ability to see the specific tumor and then pinpoint treatment to potentially improve efficacy and minimize toxicity associated with many other types of cancer treatments. This has the potential to significantly improve response to treatments with better safety profiles for patients.

The Company’s melanoma (VMT01) and neuroendocrine tumor (VMT- -NET) programs are each entering Phase 1 imaging studies this year in advance of therapy trials for the treatment of
metastatic melanoma and neuroendocrine tumors, both very hard to treat cancers.

VMT’s founders, Michael Schultz, Ph.D., Frances Johnson, M.D., and Heyward Coleman, MBA, first engaged EDC in 2016 for assistance with developing a pitch deck and executive summary to support the initial capital raise efforts that would be necessary to accelerate the commercialization of the team’s novel products.

“Working with EDC means that we always have someone we can bounce things off—a sounding board of business professionals to round out our team of
scientists. The EDC is great about providing templates and processes that we can use to polish the business and wouldn’t otherwise have access to. I view EDC as a helping hand versus an educational program. It feels like EDC is a partner with us to help grow our business. EDC has been instrumental in helping us evaluate opportunities and develop the plan to execute on our potential as an actual business, not just research in a lab,” said Frances Johnson, M.D. Chief Medical Officer and Interim CEO, Viewpoint Molecular Targeting. 

Over the last few years, Curt has been heavily engaged with VMT as board chair and hands-on talent. In 2020, EDC helped VMT launch and complete a $13M Series A capital raise despite the pandemic. Additionally, VMT has been awarded over $10M in SBIR grants from the National Institute of Health and National Cancer Institute ($5M in last half of 2020) to fund development activities and advance preclinical studies of VMT01, VMT- -NET and isotope production technologies the company will use to build out a fully integrated alphaparticle radiopharmaceutical business.