News Article

SignaBlok targets $2.5M funding to treat lung, breast cancer
Date: Apr 05, 2011
Author: Lynette F. Cornell
Source: Mass High Tech ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: SignaBlok Inc of Shrewsbury, MA

SignaBlok Inc.
Headquarters: Shrewsbury
Phone: 203-505-3807
Founded: 2009
Employees: 1

People behind the company:
Alexander Sigalov, president and founder, previously founded Moscow-based AMW Biomed Company, where he developed and marketed diagnostic kits for heart disease and stroke. Prior to founding SignaBlok, Sigalov also worked at MIT, where he discovered the homo-oligomerization of intrinsically disordered proteins.

In the company’s own words:
“SignaBlok is developing and advancing novel targeted therapies and delivery nanosystems through the use of the company’s revolutionary science and technologies. To date, the company has been self-funded and has been able to build an extensive and impressive IP portfolio. This portfolio covers a broad range of methods and compositions to diagnose, treat and prevent multiple large market indications with unmet needs.”

About the technology:
SignaBlok has developed technology for the targeted nanodelivery of imaging agents as well as therapies, ranging from small molecules to peptides and ribonucleic acids to macrophage-rich sites of disease with applications in lung and breast cancer, sepsis, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and other serious diseases. According to Sigalov, much of SignaBlok’s intellectual property portfolio can be broadly applicable to nearly any indication wherein cell surface receptors are involved. SignaBlok’s nanosystems can be used for targeted delivery of the existing therapies for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) to tumor sites, aiming to significantly improve efficacy and reduce side effects, said Sigalov. In the sepsis market, SignaBlok is marketing its TREM-1 inhibitors as an alternative to Xigris, which is currently the only approved drug for severe sepsis but can only be used in patients with a high risk of death due to the drug’s high risk of life-threatening bleeding, said Sigalov. According to SignaBlok, its nanosystems can also be used to improve efficacy of Xigris and diminish its systemic toxicity and reduce the necessary dose.

The pitch:
SignaBlok is seeking $2.5 million over two years. The company plans to use $1.5 million for research and development to carry out four pilot, proof-of-concept animal studies to develop new therapies for non-small cell lung cancer, breast cancer, sepsis and atherosclerosis. According to Sigalov, these studies are also designed to prove SignaBlok’s concept of image-guided therapy of cancer and atherosclerosis. The company is looking for $600,000 for administrative costs, $100,000 for collaborations and fundraising and $300,000 to serve as a reserve. The company is also seeking business partnerships including collaborative research and development on its cancer therapeutics and delivery nanosystems, secure strategic alliances, joint ventures, partnerships and licensing deals. It is looking to pursue partnerships and collaborations with larger and more established biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies to take its products through the clinical trials process or to license its products.

The market:
The company is looking to tap into the markets of lung and breast cancer, sepsis and atherosclerosis with a total market size over $60 billion annually, said Sigalov. The company expects to reach profitability in two years through a combination of grants, alliances, out-licensing and equity investment.

The competition:
In the NSCLC market, the company’s competitors are companies that produce the existing therapies for NSCLC such as Paclitaxel, Docetaxel, Gemcitabine, Vinorelbine, Irinotecan, Topotecan, Cisplatin and Carboplatin.