Bexion Pharmaceuticals awarded $500K SBIR state grant for cancer research

Bexion Pharmaceutical's work to treat a deadly form of brain cancer has earned a $500,000 boost from the state of Kentucky.

The Covington-based biotechnology company has been awarded a state Small Business Innovation Research matching grant for its ongoing research into a cure for glioblastoma multiforme, an invasive brain tumor that can't be effectively treated now. The grant offers a partial match to a $1.5 million, Phase 2 SBIR grant that the National Cancer Institute Awarded Bexion late last year.

"By Kentucky matching that grant it allows us to expedite the process, so that we can move to clinical trials a lot faster," said VP of Business Development Margaret van Gilse. "We are working on developing the drug that will ultimately be used in the Phase I clinical trial."

Bexion expects human clinical trials will start late this year or early 2012, van Gisle said.

"In order to cultivate breakthrough technologies, life science companies need early stage funding. In Kentucky, we are doing everything we can to support this important cluster of our local economy with sources such as the Northern Kentucky ezone as well as with state and local support," said Northern Kentucky Tri-ED Chairman, Steve Pendery. "Northern Kentucky is certainly open for business in the life sciences corridor."

Bexion Pharmaceuticals is a startup focused on finding cures and treatments for a wide range of cancers. Currently they are working with technology licensed from Cincinnati Children's Hospital. The company has three primary focuses: oncology therapeutics, oncology diagnostics and nucleic acid (DNA and RNA) delivery. Bexion is located at bioLOGIC Corp, a global life science investment and management company with a Covington office.

"Bexion Pharmaceuticals was awarded the highest matching grant possible from the state program due to the potential for commercialization of the drug treatment therapies the company is developing," said Gene Fuqua, acting commissioner of the Cabinet's Department of Commercialization and Innovation.

Writer: Feoshia Henderson
Source: Northern Kentucky Tri-ED

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