National Cancer Institute selects Apexian Pharmaceuticals to participate in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Initiative program

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, Sept. 27, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —                                                                                                                                          


National Cancer Institute selects Apexian Pharmaceuticals to participate in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Initiative program

Indianapolis, IN – September 27, 2017 –Apexian Pharmaceuticals is pleased to announce that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has selected the company to participate in its highly competitive Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Investor Initiatives program, that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Research and Development (R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. As part of this program, Apexian Pharmaceuticals was selected to present at the BioNetwork Partnering Summit, being held in Laguna Niguel, California on October 23-25 2017. This work was supported by NCI SBIR grant 11196090.  Apexian’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rich Messmann, will be speaking about the development of the company’s lead molecule APX3330, and its effect upon APE1/Ref 1, a dual function protein that is a critical signaling node in cancer cells that also facilitates repair of oxidative damage to DNA.

In extensive preclinical testing, much of it conducted by Dr. Mark Kelley, Apexian’s Chief Scientific Officer, and Associate Director of Basic Science Research at the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center, and as summarized in a recent Nature Precision Oncology article (Shah et al. 2017 npj Precision Oncology), APX3330 provided robust anti-cancer effect by inhibiting the activation of cancer regulatory proteins, including transcription factors HIF-1-alpha, AP-1, NF-kappa B, and STAT3, as well as an ability to prevent and reverse the oxidative damage -called chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy or CIPN- caused by platinum-containing chemotherapy agents such as oxaliplatin and cisplatin.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an Investigational New Drug license to Apexian to commence human testing of APX3330 and accrual into the initial study will begin in the near future. Details of the trial, including contact information on participating centers, will be found at  

Steve Carchedi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Apexian Pharmaceuticals, commented:  “We are very honored by the NCI’s decision and excited to tell the Apexian story at the BioNetwork event. Cancer patients need additional safe and effective therapy, and the prospect that APX3330 not only provides anti-cancer effect, but may also prevent or reverse the debilitating effects of CIPN could fundamentally change the manner in which certain cancers are treated. We are looking forward to initiating our clinical study in an area with such high unmet need.”

About Apexian Pharmaceuticals

Apexian Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing safe and effective therapy for patients with high unmet medical needs.  Apexian’s lead drug candidate is named APX3330. To learn more about Apexian Pharmaceuticals, please visit the company’s website at

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