(AUSTIN) The governing body of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has approved $63 million in grants that illustrate the agency’s reach not only in Texas but around the world. The grants include recruitment of a cancer researcher from Switzerland and an Israeli company developing a new product to ease the burden on breast cancer patients. The CPRIT Oversight Committee approved awards at their quarterly meeting held today at the Barbara Jordan State Office Building in Austin.
“Today’s slate of awards clearly illustrates how CPRIT is making Texas a global leader in cancer research,” said CPRIT CEO Wayne Roberts. “Whether it’s Switzerland, Israel, Houston, or Dallas, CPRIT is funding the innovators and the ideas that will change the future in the fight against cancer. Around the world, CPRIT has made Texas the new home for innovation in medical research and life science.”
CPRIT SCHOLAR FROM SWITZERLAND
The Oversight Committee approved two recruitment grants today totaling $7.9 million, including $2 million to Rice University to bring postdoctoral fellow Christina Tringides, Ph.D. to Houston from Eidgenössische Technische Hochshule Zürich, a public research university in Switzerland. At the Rice Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, Tringides will continue her groundbreaking work on a clinically translatable, hydrogel-based multifunctional electrode array that can be used to treat brain tumors such as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
The CPRIT Scholar recruitment program was created to help Texas research institutions bring the best and brightest cancer investigators to Texas.
AWARD TO COMPANY FOUNDED BY CPRIT SCHOLAR
The board also awarded a $10.6 million New Technologies Company grant to Mongoose Bio, LLC an early-stage clinical company in Houston founded by another CPRIT Scholar, Dr. Cassian Yee. Mongoose is developing precision-based therapies with solid tumor T cell receptor targets (TCR-T). Their lead candidate is the HORMAD1 Central Memory T cell, a revolutionary adoptive T-cell therapy built upon 17 years of pioneering work from Dr. Yee and his lab at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC).
ISRAELI COMPANY RECRUITED BY CPRIT
In another illustration of CPRIT’s international impact, the Oversight Committee approved a $4.8 million Texas Diagnostic and Devices Company award to FixNip, Ltd., an Israeli medical device startup that has developed a Nipple Reconstruction Implant (NRI) to aid women undergoing breast cancer surgery. The NRI provides breast cancer survivors with a revolutionary, minimally invasive, and safe option for natural nipple reconstruction to help regain self-confidence and lessen the burden of breast cancer surgery.
With the CPRIT award, FixNip will move its headquarters to Texas, initiate a pivotal clinical study at MDACC as well as ramp up local product manufacturing. The company was first made aware of CPRIT during a trade delegation visit to Israel by CEO Wayne Roberts in May 2022.
CPRIT TO RECEIVE MAJOR AWARD
The Oversight Committee also welcomed a special guest, Terrence Henry, Executive Director of the Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering, Science and Technology (TAMEST) to announce that CPRIT has been named recipient of the 2024 Kay Bailey Hutchison Distinguished Service Award. TAMEST will officially present the award to Roberts and Chief Scientific Officer Michelle Le Beau, Ph.D., at the opening reception of their 2024 Annual Conference on Monday, February 5, 2024. You may view the TAMEST release here: https://tamest.org/news/tamest-recognizes-cprit-with-kbh-award
Also at today’s meeting, the Oversight Committee heard presentations from two grantees, Dr. Omid Veiseh from Rice University and Mr. Kirk Dorius from Austin-based Atom Mines.
You may view the meeting online, once processed: 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 302 distinguished researchers to Texas, supported the establishment, expansion, or relocation of 62 companies to Texas, and supported 9.3 million prevention services reaching all 254 counties in Texas.
Learn more about CPRIT at www.cprit.texas.gov
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NOVEMBER 15, 2023
CPRIT SCHOLARS (RECRUITMENT)
RR240005 Christina Tringides Rice University (Houston) $1,990,000
RR240012 Leonido Luznik Baylor College of Medicine (Houston) $6,000,000
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH
DP240073 March Biosciences, Inc.(Houston) $13,358,637
Advancing Clinical Development of MB-105 CD5 CAR-T cell Therapy for T-cell Lymphoma
DP240075 Mongoose Bio, LLC (Houston) $10,621,053 TCR-T Cell Discovery and Therapeutics for Empirically Validated Tumor Targets
DP240088 FixNip Ltd. (Israel to Houston) $4,844,088
FixNip NRI (Nipple Reconstruction Implant)
DP240091 Gradalis, Inc. (Carrollton) $9,965,266
Vigil maintenance in PS ovarian patients
DP240095 Stingray Therapeutics, Inc. (Houston) $13,881,458
A Phase 1-2 clinical study to evaluate SR-8541A plus balstilimab and botensilimab in MSS CRC patients
DP240117 Single Cell Biotechnology Inc. (Dallas) $2,536,132
A Novel High Throughput Platform for Drug Screening Against Dormant and Migrating High-Grade Glioma Cells