Alpheus™ Medical, Inc, a privately held company developing a novel sonodynamic therapy (SDT) platform targeting solid body cancers, today announced it has closed $16M in Series A financing. Co-led by OrbiMed Advisors and Action Potential Venture Capital, the round included participation from the Medtech Convergence Fund, a SV Health Investors venture fund, the Brain Tumor Investment Fund, an affiliate of the National Brain Tumor Society, and BrightEdge, the American Cancer Society’s impact venture capital arm. The company’s investigational non-invasive sonodynamic therapy has the potential to offer whole hemisphere treatment that is designed to selectively target and kill cancer cells through an outpatient procedure that may be repeated, as needed, to treat the disease. The funds will support a FIH trial of the therapy for recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (rGBM), a fatal brain cancer with very limited treatment options.
The multi-site first-in-human trial will evaluate the safety, feasibility, and molecular and clinical effects of the proprietary sonodynamic therapy treatment in patients with recurrent high-grade gliomas. Enrollment is expected to begin in the coming months.
“Glioblastomas are located within the blood-brain barrier and are very difficult to treat due to their heterogenous and invasive nature. Treatment of these devastating tumors is currently limited by procedures that are highly invasive, may not be repeated, often result in complications, and in many situations lead to undesirable quality of life trade-offs for the patient,” commented Klaus Veitinger, MD, Venture Partner at OrbiMed Advisors and Executive Chairman of Alpheus Medical’s board of directors. “Our team has followed the brain cancer market closely. Alpheus’ unique drug-device combination is poised to overcome the challenges this tumor poses and deliver the hope of better outcomes for these critically ill patients.”
Alpheus Medical’s drug-device combination uses a sonodynamic approach, where a drug, or sonosensitizer, selectively accumulates in cancer cells and is activated under low intensity ultrasound to kill the tumor cells. After the drug is administered, Alpheus’ proprietary ultrasound delivery device provides SDT treatment to activate cell death in only the cancer cells that have absorbed the drug. Alpheus’ therapy aims to address the heterogenous and diffuse nature of the disease with its large field treatment of cells both at the primary tumor site and those throughout the diseased hemisphere. The innovative therapy also eliminates the requirement for concomitant imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). It can be performed as a convenient outpatient procedure and may be repeated to maximize treatment effect.
“The ability to selectively target cancer cells with Alpheus’ treatment is very exciting and has the potential to deliver a much-needed option for this challenging disease, where drug therapies alone have struggled,” stated Imran Eba, Partner with Action Potential Venture Capital and newly appointed board member of Alpheus Medical. “We are pleased to co-lead this round and look forward to supporting the team as it moves the platform into clinical trials.”