AUSTIN, Texas—April 10, 2009—Molecular Templates Inc. (MTI), a biopharmaceutical company with a novel protein platform for the development of new cancer therapeutics, today announced it has secured $2.5 million in financing from Santé Ventures. Proceeds from this financing will be used to continue product development and conduct human clinical trials.
MTI’s CEO Eric Poma, PhD, was formerly Vice President of Business Development with ImClone Systems, which was purchased by Eli Lilly for $6.5 billion in November 2008. “Cancer therapeutics is a crowded and competitive field. MTI’s platform technology is compelling because it allows us to rapidly screen for molecular markers that uniquely identify various types of cancer cells, and it allows us to combine into a single therapeutic compound both the specific cancer binding agents and a novel mechanism of action to kill targeted cells,” said Eric. MTI has a lead compound for melanoma that is expected to enter human clinical trials and is developing additional compounds against a variety of other cancers.
Santé Ventures Scientific Advisor, Casey Cunningham, MD, who has been involved in clinical oncology research over the last three decades, noted that “one of our primary problems in this field has always been the disconnect that exists between target discovery and the means to affect a given target. MTI’s technology is interesting because it provides the means to both rapidly identify novel therapeutic targets and effectively attack those targets.”
MTI was originally founded by researchers at the University of Toronto and the Ontario Cancer Institute, but the company recently relocated to Austin in conjunction with the financing from Santé Ventures. “We are pleased to be partnering with Eric and his team at Molecular Templates. The underlying science is first-rate, and the in vitro/vivo results to date look very promising. Texas provides a rich ecosystem in which to build this young life sciences company, with deep clinical and medical research communities and progressive statewide initiatives such as the $3 billion Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas” said Santé Ventures Managing Director, Kevin Lalande.
About Molecular Templates Inc.
Molecular Templates Inc. (MTI) is a biopharmaceutical company with a novel protein platform for the development of new cancer therapeutics. The company has a lead compound for melanoma that is expected to enter into clinical trials and is developing additional compounds against a variety of other cancers. MTI is based in Austin, Texas and funded by Santé Ventures.
About Santé Ventures
Santé Ventures is a life sciences venture capital firm that invests exclusively in early-stage companies developing innovative new medical technologies or healthcare delivery models. The firm was founded in 2006 and has $132 million in capital under management in its debut fund. For more information, please visit www.santeventures.com