Early-stage clinical oncology company Apexian Pharmaceuticals licenses IU discoveries

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Apexian Pharmaceuticals Inc., a biotechnology company focused on developing novel compounds to treat cancer, has licensed all available patented and patent-pending technology discovered in Mark R. Kelley’s laboratory at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Indiana University Research and Technology Corp., which protects, markets and licenses intellectual property developed at IU so it can be commercialized by industry, issued the license. It allows Apexian Pharmaceuticals to commercialize discoveries made by Mark R. Kelley, the Betty and Earl Herr Chair in Pediatric Oncology Research and professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. Kelley serves as the company’s chief scientific officer.

Apexian CEO Steve Carchedi said Kelley is one of the most renowned researchers studying novel cancer targets.

“Mark has published more research in the field than I have seen in my entire 30-year career,” he said. “His extensive work in the field will bring forward APX3330, a therapy that could transform the way cancer is going to be treated in the future. It is rare that one gets the opportunity to work with someone of his caliber, resulting in bringing forward the next novel oncology discovery.

“At Apexian, we are grateful for the partnership with IU and Mark’s exceptional research. We look forward to working together and bringing forward APX3330 — after all, the patients are waiting.”

Apexian Pharmaceuticals has received SBIR and STTR grants from the National Cancer Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, to study APX3330. In May, Kelley received a $2.9 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to study the side effects caused by chemotherapy. The company plans to initiate a phase one oncology trial in 2017.