Houston-based, clinical-stage biotechnology company Oncolix, Inc., recently raised $4.2 million in a Series A round of financing, as announced by the company in a press release. Among the investment partners that participated in the transaction is the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF), in a financing round that was led by PoC Capital, LLC and Integrium Clinical Research, LLC.
Oncolix, which is currently developing a treatment for cancer, will use the $4.2 million to invest in further studies for the company’s drug candidate, Prolanta. Oncolix is planning to initiate a phase I dose-escalation clinical trial to evaluate Prolanta as a treatment for ovarian cancer.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already cleared the Investigational New Drug Application (IND) filed by Oncolix regarding the phase I clinical trial for Prolanta in patients with ovarian cancer. The company is expecting to initiate the trial later this year.
“Prolactin is a potent growth factor for many types of cancers, including ovarian cancer,” explained the senior author of a study that described the mechanism of action of Prolanta, Anil Sood, M.D., professor of Gynecologic Oncology. “When we block prolactin signaling, it sets off a chain of downstream events that result in cell death by autophagy.” The study was conducted at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and published at the Cell Reports journal in April, 2014.
The Texas Emerging Technology Fund, a $485 million fund created by the Texas Legislature in 2005, is dedicated to enhancing promising research projects able to make a difference in health care. Therefore, TEFT has entered the financing round for Oncolix and will support the clinical trial. In addition, TEFT has also recently collaborated in a project with Texas A&M University to build a modern open-innovation facility dedicated to tech startups.