San Diego's EnduRx Pharmaceuticals Completes CONNECT Springboard Accelerator Program - Initiates Lead Optimization Activities for First Cancer Drug Product

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EnduRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. today announced successful completion of its participation in the CONNECT Springboard Accelerator Program for San Diego innovation startups. The company is now moving into lead optimization for its first cancer drug product.

The Springboard program matches experienced mentors from the CONNECT roster of 150, with innovation entrepreneurs who work together intensively over several months. Entrepreneurs make several pitches to panels who provide feedback, with a final pitch to a panel of invitees from the broader community. The program is free to the accepted entrepreneurs.

“Participation in the Springboard program provided numerous opportunities to obtain insightful feedback, expand our network, and learn how to communicate effectively with potential investors and other stakeholders,” said David Loynd, President and Chief Executive Officer of EnduRx. “Working with the mentors over several months I was able to improve our ability to communicate the benefits of the products we are developing and that we expect will extend and save lives while reducing the pain and suffering associated with traditional cancer chemotherapy treatment.”

“With graduation from the Springboard program we will now work to qualify for CONNECT’s Capital Match program designed to introduce early stage investment-ready companies to appropriate sources of funding,” Loynd said. “At the same time we’re moving forward with our outreach program to communicate with hundreds of current and potential stakeholders, inform them of our next steps and benefit from their advice. The path from drug discovery to proof of efficacy in clinical trials is a complicated one and we are eager to stand on the willing shoulders of those who have successfully gone before us.”

About EnduRx:

EnduRx Pharmaceuticals is a preclinical life science company commercializing a nanoparticle-based active drug delivery technology developed by Distinguished Professor Erkki Ruoslahti, MD PhD, at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla, CA. The technology couples a drug to a nanoparticle that delivers it to the tumor and transports it throughout tumor tissue. In the first EnduRx drug product now under development delivery is accomplished with a cell-targeting-and-penetrating peptide and the drug payload is a compound that interacts with the cell mitochondria to induce apoptosis – a form of cell death that minimizes secondary inflammation. The cell-penetrating ability allows rapid transport of the drug payload throughout the entire tumor within minutes. Besides its embodiment in the first EnduRx product we believe the technology could enhance the activity, and reduce the side effects of virtually any therapeutic agent for solid tumor cancers.

Nanoparticle drug products guided with cell-penetrating peptides can pass through obstacles such as the blood-brain barrier in brain tumors or through the dense stroma surrounding pancreatic and other cancers. In the EnduRx drug product the nanoparticle rapidly “homes” to a target on the surface of cancer cells, while healthy cells throughout the body are unaffected. The nanoparticle ensures that the drug product is not cleared from the body before it can reach its target, and the structure of the drug product prevents the cytotoxic elements from interacting with healthy cells, minimizing the side effects associated with non-targeted chemotherapy agents. In mouse models of triple-negative breast cancer and glioblastoma, a brain cancer, an EnduRx prototype drug product achieved a minimum 90% reduction of tumor size with the majority of tumors exhibiting sustained complete regression suggesting cures (breast cancer) and nearly 100% survivorship (glioblastoma).

EnduRx is an Affiliate of BioLabs, the San Diego life science incubator of BioInnovation Capital, and has been supported to date by $2MM in private investment and a $1.75MM SBIR Fast-Track grant from the National Cancer Institute. The company is currently in the process of raising $2.5MM seed funding in order to complete preclinical lead optimization including preliminary toxicity and ADME (Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion) for its first drug product, to expand key personnel and establish laboratory operations, to obtain additional non-dilutive funding, and to hold a pre-IND meeting with the FDA. Anticipating an IND filing some quarters in the future, EnduRx has engaged Translational Drug Development (TD2), an oncology CRO (contract research organization) co-located on the Scottsdale, AZ campus of the Mayo Clinic and led by Dr. Daniel von Hoff, to coordinate planning of clinical trials.

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David Loynd
EnduRx Pharmaceuticals Inc
+1 (520) 349-2455
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