(AUSTIN) The governing board of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) advanced the fight against cancer by approving over $73 million in new cancer research grants at its quarterly meeting on Wednesday.

The board approved $60 million in crucial, early-stage investments in Texas-based companies developing breakthrough cancer-fighting drugs and treatments, including one company relocating from Seattle to Houston. The Oversight Committee also approved several new CPRIT scholar awards to recruit world-class cancer investigators from across the country to Texas institutions.

“CPRIT funding is vital to cancer-fighting efforts across Texas,” said CPRIT Chief Executive Officer Wayne Roberts, “but today’s grants will be particularly critical to six companies doing breakthrough work on cancer-fighting drugs and treatments. Texas is unique because of CPRIT’s ability to invest in cutting edge research when private capital is scarce. This is yet another way Texas is leading the nation in the fight against cancer.”

Product Development Research Investment

The Oversight Committee awarded six grants through the CPRIT Product Development Research program to accelerate early-stage development in Texas-based startups conducting the preliminary work needed to bring life-saving drugs and technologies to market.

OncoResponse, a Seattle-based company relocating to Houston, received a $13 million grant to develop fully human monoclonal antibodies as therapeutics for the treatment of cancer in patients who otherwise would not respond to immunotherapy. The company already has a strong partnership with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The Oversight Committee approved a $9 million grant to the Cell Therapy Manufacturing Center (CTMC) to accelerate cell therapy development. CTMC is a Houston-based joint venture between National Resilience Inc. and MD Anderson Cancer Center focused on building capacity and differentiated capabilities for retroviral vector manufacturing, tumor infiltrating lymphocyte platform improvement, and CAR-T process development strategy.

The complete list of Product Development grants is provided below.


The Oversight Committee also approved three new recruitment grants totaling $14 million in the ongoing effort to bring the best and brightest cancer researchers to Texas from around the country. The CPRIT Scholars program has awarded $854 million since 2009 to bring 293 stellar cancer investigators to Texas.

Today, CPRIT awarded a $6 million grant to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas to bring Yuan Zhu, Ph.D. to Texas from Washington D.C. Dr. Zhu is an international leader in the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying nervous system tumor development, particularly for cancers associated with Neurofibromatosis Type 1, a relatively common cancer in children and adults. Dr. Zhu will be leaving his position as Scientific Director of the Gilbert Family Neurofibromatosis Institute at Children’s National Medical Center to become a professor of Pediatrics at the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern.

Both the University Advisory Committee and the Product Development Advisory Committee also made their annual presentations to the board.

Video of the meeting will be available here: http://meeting.cprit.texas.gov


Created by the Texas Legislature and approved by a statewide vote in 2007, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) leads the Lone Star State’s fight against cancer. In 2019, Texas voters again voted overwhelmingly to support CPRIT with an additional $3 billion, for a total $6 billion investment in cancer research and prevention.

To date, the agency has awarded more than $3 billion in grants to Texas research institutions and organizations through its academic research, prevention, and product development research programs. CPRIT has also recruited 293 distinguished researchers to Texas, supported the establishment, expansion, or relocation of 56 companies to Texas, and supported nearly 9 million prevention services reaching all 254 counties in Texas.

The Governor, the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House appoint the members of the Oversight Committee.  The board meets at least once every quarter to set the priorities for the agency as well as vote on proposed, peer-reviewed cancer research and prevention grants to institutions, organization, and companies throughout the state.



MAY 17, 2023


RR230029        Michael King     Vanderbilt University to Rice University                            $6,000,000

RR230031        Dian Yang         Whitehead Institute to UTSW                                          $2,000,000

RR230032        Yuan Zhu          Children’s National Medical Center to UTSW                               $6,000,000


Product Development Research

DP230062         7 Hills Pharma LLC                   Houston                        $13,439,001

7HP349, a Small Molecule, Oral Integrin Activator to Treat Patients With anti-PD-1 Resistant Melanoma         


DP230064         OmniNano Pharmaceuticals LLC Missouri City     $2,711,437       

IND-Enabling Studies of ONP-001: A Nano-Codelivery Formulation with Two Drugs of Distinct Mechanisms of Action for Treating Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma


DP230066         Pulmotect, Inc.                            Houston                      $8,851,165

Improving Cancer Patient Outcomes by Activating Lung Innate Immunity  


DP230071         Allterum Therapeutics, LLC                        Houston          $11,721,150

Clinical development of a novel CD127 antibody for treating patients with relapsed/refractory Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)


DP230076         OncoResponse                          Houston (Seattle)          $13,259,174

OR502 anti-LILRB2 monoclonal antibody Phase 1-2 clinical study


DP230079         Resilience Texas LLC (dba CTMC)         Houston                        $9,100,000

Building Differentiated Cell Therapy Manufacturing Technologies to Attract Value-Added Biotech Partnerships         


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