Two Austin companies awarded $44.9 million in CPRIT grants

May 23, 2014
Austin Business Journal

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas has shelled out $44.9 million to two Austin companies to develop new cancer treatments that build on research previously funded by the agency

The grants come after the agency recently named a head of product development and planned to put more emphasis on funding medical devices and treatments that could be commercialized

Mirna Therapeutics Inc. will receive $25.1 million to fund development of drug combinations that mimic naturally occurring tumor inhibitors. Mirna has received CPRIT funding in the past, including a $10 million grant in 2010 that was essential in helping the company, which was spun off from and funded by Asuragen Inc., stay in business

The other grant, to AERase Inc., provides $19.8 million to develop and begin clinical trials on a cancer treatment that uses the human enzymes to combat tumors. The treatment is based in part on the research of University of Texas scientist George Georgiou, who is a partner in AERase

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