Viewpoint Molecular Targeting, Inc., a University of Iowa start-up pharmaceutical company that has developed novel therapy and companion diagnostics for cancer, announced that it has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant valued at $2 million from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) The award will support preclinical development and a Phase 1 clinical imaging trial of it’s VMT01 companion diagnostic in advance of therapeutic trials. “We value the NCI’s continued recognition of the importance of our products and its support of our development program,” said Edwin Sagastume, Viewpoint’s lead engineer and a University of Iowa graduate. “We are excited with the progress we are making to bring our products forward.” said Sagastume. “This award is an excellent next step in advancing Viewpoint’s new therapy to the clinical stage,” said Viewpoint’s Chief Science Officer Michael Schultz. “We could not be more excited about our progress and to expand our clinical trial sites.”

About Viewpoint Molecular Targeting

Viewpoint Molecular Targeting develops therapies and diagnostics for cancer, with a focus on metastatic melanoma and neuroendocrine tumors. It’s lead products, VMT01 and VMT-α-NET, are injectable radiopharmaceuticals. The products can be used to determine the location and extent of cancerous tumors in the body and then the therapeutic forms can be used to direct a therapeutic dose of radiation precisely to cancer cells in the body. This represents a new class of drugs called theranostics.

Viewpoint has successfully secured over $6 million through seed capital investments, NIH SBIR grants, Iowa Economic Development Authority Demonstration Funds, Innovation Iowa Corporation Matching Funds, and business pitch competition victories. The current award sends the company into clinical trials for its lead product, with other cancer therapy products in the development pipeline.

About NIH SBIR Program

The NIH SBIR program funds early stage small businesses that are seeking to commercialize innovative biomedical technologies. This competitive program helps small business participate in federal research and development to develop life-saving technologies and create jobs. The project described above is supported under NIH/NCI Phase II SBIR grant R44CA203430-02A1 (PI JohnsonFL).

Viewpoint’s products are currently under development and therefore not approved by the FDA.