09 Jan Cellectar raises $13 million for pending clinical trial
Madison, Wis. – Cellectar, a privately held radiopharmaceutical developer, has raised $13 million in a private offering for a product it plans to bring to the global oncology therapy market.
Cellectar will use the money to continue operations and execute a Phase 1 clinical trial for its lead oncology product, a molecule called CLR1404. The clinical trial is expected to start this summer.
The round was led by Venture Investors, a venture capital firm with over $200 million under management. It also included Advantage Capital, several Wisconsin-based angel investor groups, and a large private-equity firm.
John Neis, managing director of Venture Investors, has joined the Cellectar Board of Directors. Neis said in a release that Cellectar is another great example of a company formed around leading-edge discoveries from major Midwestern research universities. Its technology is based on laboratory research conducted at the the University of Michigan in the lab of Dr. Ray Counsell, and later refined by Dr. Jamey Weichert and teams at Michigan and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Preclinical studies have shown that CLR1404 this compound is selectively accepted and retained in 100 percent of the more than 40 malignant tumor types tested. “Cellectar has a lead pharmaceutical candidate that is well validated and has the potential to be an effective treatment for a wide variety of cancer types,” Neis said.
Cellectar, which is led by President and CEO Bill Clarke, designs and develops products to detect, treat, and monitor human cancers. The company, which holds an exclusive license to related intellectual property from the University of Michigan, recently opened a new manufacturing facility in Madison. The facility will make it possible to complete its clinical trials and remain independent.
This round of funding follows the $7 million Cellectar raised in 2007 in the largest angel round in Wisconsin history. Cellectar has expanded its team from four employees to 17, and expects to hire more this year as the clinical trial unfolds. Prior to this latest round, the company previously raised a total of $9 million from angel investors, including Continuum Investment Partners.
In the forthcoming weeks, Cellectar plans to submit CLR1404 for investigational new drug status with the Food and Drug Administration in order to enter Phase 1 clinical trials.
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