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This biotech announces $90M funding to develop next-gen radioactive drugs to treat prostate cancer

Convergent Therapeutics
Image credits: shmeljov/DepositPhotos

Convergent Therapeutics has announced the completion of a $90 million Series A financing round to support the development of next-generation radiopharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancer. The funding round was led by OrbiMed and RA Capital Management, with participation from Invus. 

The funds will be used to develop a pipeline of novel radioantibodies, including CONV01-α, the company’s lead program for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. 

The company was co-founded by Dr. Philip Kantoff, former Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Dr. Neil Bander, Chief Scientific Advisor to Convergent, with technology licensed from Cornell University.

Dr. Kantoff emphasized the significant unmet need for effective treatments for prostate cancer, which continues to be the second leading cause of cancer death in men. He views CONV01-α as a best-in-class, targeted treatment for prostate cancer and plans to advance its clinical development over the immediate term. Further, the funding will also be used to pursue additional radioantibody targets to treat cancer.

Tal Zaks, M.D., Ph.D., Partner at OrbiMed, said that the company’s radioantibody approach is ideally suited to treat cancer and bring effective breakthrough treatments to patients. Meanwhile, Jake Simson, Ph.D., Partner at RA Capital Management, believes that the company’s radioantibody technology is an exciting approach to radiopharmaceuticals that will have significant implications for patients.

In addition to initiating the next phase of clinical development for CONV01-α, Convergent Therapeutics is also pursuing other in-licensing and pipeline acquisition opportunities. Citigroup acted as the sole placement agent for this transaction.

Drugs with radioactive material

Radiopharmaceuticals are drugs that contain radioactive material and are used for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. In the context of prostate cancer and other solid tumors, radiopharmaceuticals can be used to deliver targeted radiation therapy to cancerous cells, while minimizing damage to healthy tissues.

For example, radiopharmaceuticals such as Lutetium-177 (Lu-177) and Actinium-225 (Ac-225) can be used to treat prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones. These radiopharmaceuticals can bind to specific receptors on cancer cells and deliver high doses of radiation directly to the tumor cells, while sparing nearby healthy tissues.

Other solid tumors that may be treated with radiopharmaceuticals include neuroendocrine tumors, lymphoma, and certain types of breast cancer. The use of radiopharmaceuticals for cancer treatment is an active area of research, and clinical trials are ongoing to explore their effectiveness in different types of cancer.

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