"PanTher and Suono Bio are working to deliver innovative technologies that have the potential to impact patients with serious diseases, and we're pleased that the Golden Tickets will enable them to advance their research," said Carl Decicco, Ph.D., Head of Discovery at Bristol-Myers Squibb. "Our sponsorship of LabCentral, and the awarding of Golden Tickets to these two companies, align with our strategy to encourage scientific innovations in our disease areas of focus, from academia through early development."
"Bristol-Myers Squibb has made an excellent selection of its first two Golden Ticket winners - we know them both well," commented LabCentral Co-Founder and President Johannes Fruehauf, M.D., Ph.D. "Both have the potential to make major inroads against devastating diseases using novel approaches to drug delivery. We are excited to have them join in the vibrant ecosystem of the LabCentral community and look forward to watching as these companies move down the path toward success."
A pre-clinical-stage company, PanTher Therapeutics is working to revolutionize the treatment of inoperable, locally advanced solid tumors - studying the direct delivery of existing, already proven chemotherapy agents directly onto the tumor for consistent, slow release over time. The company designed its novel delivery method to potentially eliminate the toxicity and debilitating side effects that chemo agents can produce when delivered systemically through traditional IV or oral administration. Its first potential indication is pancreatic cancer, a particularly lethal disease that affects more than 53,000 Americans annually, where excruciating symptoms arise from the primary mass invading nearby vital organs. By changing the route of administration to target just the tumor, PanTher is designed to increase the amount of drug reaching the intended destination with the aim to enhance therapeutic efficacy. Eliminating adverse outcomes may also help to lower healthcare costs. Pancreatic cancer accounts for about three percent of all cancers in the U.S. and about seven percent of cancer deaths. A privately held company, PanTher is completing pre-clinical studies prior to initiating human trials and exploring opportunities for partnerships to expand its product pipeline.
Suono Bio, a preclinical stage company, has developed breakthrough technology - the "SuonoCalmTM" system - designed to potentially enable ultra-rapid delivery of therapeutics across tissues, including the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Preclinical studies have demonstrated that the ultrasound-based technology can deliver small molecules, proteins, and nucleic acids locally and systemically, validating further study of the SuonoCalm system. Designed as an easy-to-use device to enable patients to self-administer medication at home, the SuonoCalm technology may also be applicable to a broad set of conditions outside of the GI tract.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases.
A 28,000 square-foot facility in the heart of the Kendall Square, Cambridge, Mass., a biotech innovation hub, LabCentral is a first-of-its-kind shared laboratory space designed as a launchpad for high-potential life-sciences and biotech startups. It offers fully permitted laboratory and office space for early-stage companies comprising approximately 125 scientists and entrepreneurs. LabCentral provides first-class facility and administrative support, skilled laboratory personnel, a domain-relevant expert speaker series - as well as the other critical services and support that startups need to begin laboratory operations on day one. A private, nonprofit institution, LabCentral was funded in part by a $5 million grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, with support from its real-estate partner, MIT. Founding sponsors include Triumvirate Environmental and Johnson & Johnson Innovation.