Falcon Therapeutics, a Durham, NC based gene-modified cell therapy company, has been awarded a nearly $1,500,000 Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to deliver life-saving therapies to patients fighting Glioblastoma (GBM), the most common primary brain tumor and one of the deadliest and most difficult cancers to treat.
“We are honored to receive this grant to help us progress development of our Trilogy Cell Platform technology. GBM is an awful disease that robs patients and families of hope. If we can progress our therapy to provide a therapeutic option, we will have succeeded in achieving our mission” said Susan Nichols, CEO of Falcon Therapeutics.
“To bring this therapy from conception to the point where we can get it to patients is wonderful. But the real reward will come when it can be used to help patients who are suffering from these lethal cancers. Saving lives is the ultimate goal and this grant from the NIH will help achieve that,” said Falcon Therapeutics founder and CSO, UNC-CH team lead Shawn Hingtgen, Ph.D., associate professor in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Hingtgen has developed cutting edge technology to turn a patient’s own skin cells into cells that seek out primary and invasive Glioblastoma cells, then deliver therapeutic agents to potently eradicate the tumor. These early discoveries made in his academic lab and UN Chapel Hill form the basis for Falcon Therapeutics proprietary Trilogy Cell Platform. In the clinic, patients will be treated with Trilogy cells that hunt, home and kill cancer.
This could be the first major breakthrough in treating Glioblastoma in nearly 3 decades. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation can’t reach these invasive GBM cells, but Falcons Trilogy Cell Platform can. This innovative and groundbreaking therapy can deliver hope to GBM patients who usually have a 1-year survival rate. Falcon’s cell therapy has the potential to save lives and improve the quality of life for brain cancer and other solid tumor cancer patients.
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