RCSI spin-out company OncoLize has closed a US$1.7 million seed investment round to extend their preclinical success with a local drug delivery system to treat pancreatic and lung cancer.

The company holds an exclusive license for the OncoLize technology platform invented by Professor Helena Kelly at the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The round was led by corner-stone investors Libertatis Ergo Holding and Tailored Solutions and was joined by three high net worth impact investors. The OncoLize technology uses unique liquid formulations to deliver a wide range of anti-cancer drugs in a more effective manner for conventional chemotherapy drugs as well as for modern immuno-drugs.

Injected directly into a solid tumour, the OncoLize liquid formulation thickens within seconds to form a soft gel, releasing the loaded drugs safely, at higher concentrations and over a longer period than with the conventional delivery routes of chemo- or immunotherapy.

This localised method of delivery reduces the total drug load required and it is expected to diminish the many side effects associated with conventional delivery of chemo and immuno-therapies.

The company is using the proceeds of the investment to expand the pre-clinical studies and prepare for the First-in-Human pancreatic tumour studies.

OncoLize was founded by serial entrepreneur Mike G.W. de Leeuw, with 17 years’ business experience in developing injectable drug delivery systems, together with Industry veterans Dr Leo de Leede and Professor Helena Kelly with the support of the Innovation Team in the RCSI Office of Research and Innovation.

OncoLize will set up its laboratories at the Leiden Bio Science Park in the Netherlands and prepare for Phase 1/2 trials in border-line resectable PDAC pancreatic cancer in 2024.

The company plans to expand into other tumour indications, and it has joined a consortium sponsored by the Dutch Cancer Foundation for the delivery of modern peptide based anti-cancer drugs led by Prof. Dr. Jai Prakash from the University of Twente.

Source: Irish Medical Times