Advanced Chemotherapy Technologies Receives 4 Million NIH Grant to Pursue Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

Advanced Chemotherapy Technologies Receives $4 Million NIH Grant to Pursue Pancreatic Cancer Treatment


Clinical-stage drug delivery company Advanced Chemotherapy Technologies (ACT) announced that the company has been awarded a Phase IIb Small Business Innovation research (SBIR) grant expected to total $4 million over two years from the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The company said that the grant, in combination with prior financing, supports development of the ACT-IOP-003 local drug delivery system for treatment of locally advanced non-resectable and borderline resectable pancreatic cancer. The grant will fund the completion of ACT’s pre-clinical research and First in Human Phase 1B clinical study.

About Advanced Chemotherapy Technologies

Advanced Chemotherapy Technologies, Inc. is a privately owned, clinical-stage company developing novel approaches to local drug delivery. The company’s lead product is first-in-class in combining iontophoresis drug delivery with an implantable delivery system that targets drug delivery with laser-like precision. 

ACT’s drug delivery technology was originally developed and licensed at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in conjunction with UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center from the laboratories of Dr. Jen Jen Yeh who holds a wide range of roles including Oliver Smithies Investigator; Professor, Departments of Surgery and Pharmacology; Vice Chair for Research, Department of Surgery; Co-Associate Director of Education, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center as well as Co-Director Pancreatic Cancer Center of Excellence, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center along with Joseph M. DeSimone, Ph.D, the Sanjiv Sam Gambhir of Translational Medicine and Chemical Engineering at Stanford University and Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and NC State.

To date Advanced Chemotherapy Technologies has received funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) through SBIR awards, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center through strategic loans, and prior investment rounds. The initial development and preclinical studies of the technology, which took place at the University of North Carolina, were funded through grants from the University Cancer Research Fund, the NIH, and the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award Program.

William Daunch PhD., ACT’s Chief Technology Officer will serve as the Principal Investigator on the grant.

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ACT’s Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Approach

Pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease with 5-year survival rates of only 10%. New treatment modalities are desperately needed and ACT is developing the ACT-IOP-003 system for the targeted delivery of the FDA-approved chemotherapy treatment gemcitabine. ACT-IOP-003 enables the delivery of significantly higher concentrations directly to the tumor than achievable in systemic delivery, while also minimizing the systemic exposure and toxicity. 

Advanced Chemotherapy Technologies approach offers three major advantages over traditional systemic chemotherapy:

  • ACT-IOP-003 offers superior delivery of chemotherapy to the targeted tumor cells that are often shrouded in stroma within growing tumors, greatly increasing the amount of drug to treat the growing tumor.
  • Tumor shrinkage can enable surgical resection, ACT-IOP-003 provides the only curative treatment for pancreatic cancer.
  • ACT-IOP-003 offers greatly decreased systemic toxicity so that the patient can better tolerate conventional approaches to their treatment.

About NIH Sponsored Grant Programs

NIH sponsored grant programs provide integral capital to early-stage U.S. small businesses. These grants help to create innovative technologies that have the potential to improve human health. The programs funded by NIH grants help small businesses break into the federal research and development arena where they can work to create life-saving technologies while stimulating economic growth.

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