MADISON, Wis., Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Cellectar, Inc., a privately-held radiopharmaceuticals company that designs and develops products to detect, treat and monitor human cancers, today announced that it has raised $13 million in a private offering. Cellectar will use the money to continue operations and execute a Phase 1 clinical trial for its lead oncology product candidate, CLR1404, which is planned to start this summer. Cellectar recently opened a new manufacturing facility in Madison, WI which will make it possible to complete its clinical trials while remaining independent.
The round was led by Venture Investors, LLC, with participants including Advantage Capital, several Wisconsin based angel investor groups, and a large private equity firm. John Neis, Managing Director of Venture Investors has joined the Cellectar Board of Directors.
Bill Clarke, M.D., Cellectar's President and CEO, commented, "Based on the encouraging data for our lead product candidate, CLR1404, these funds will allow us to move into the clinical trial phase of development. We are pleased with the confidence that our investors have in the Cellectar team. Additionally, John Neis brings a tremendous amount of experience to our Board and will be a key contributor not only to the management of our company, but also to our future fund raising efforts."
"Cellectar is another great example of a company formed around leading edge discoveries from major Midwestern research universities attracting a world class management team," said John Neis. "Cellectar has a lead pharmaceutical candidate that is well validated and has the potential to be an effective treatment for a wide variety of cancer types. Bill Clarke brings exceptional experience in the development of radiopharmaceuticals and has attracted a stellar team."
During 2007, Cellectar raised $7 million in the largest angel round in Wisconsin history. Since then, Cellectar has expanded its team from four employees to 17, and expects to hire more this year. Dr. Clarke commented, "Expanding our staff allows us to continue our progression through clinical trials and ultimately into the global oncology therapy market."
Cellectar plans to submit its lead molecule, CLR1404, for IND (Investigational New Drug) status with the FDA in the coming weeks in order to enter Phase 1 clinical trials during the summer of 2008.
Cellectar LLC is a radiopharmaceuticals company that designs and develops products to detect, treat and monitor a wide variety of human cancers. Cellectar's novel product candidates combine lipid-like molecules, phospholipid ethers (PLEs), with radioisotopes that can either image or destroy malignant cells. Cellectar's products' unique mechanism of action is based on their selective accumulation and retention in malignant tumors and not normal cells. The company's operations are based in Madison, WI. Cellectar has previously raised approximately $9.0 million from angel investors; including Continuum Investment Partners. For further information about Cellectar, visit the company website at http://www.cellectar.com.
Cellectar's lead product candidate, CLR1404, is a phospholipid ether (PLE) combined with the radiolabel 131Iodine. Preclinical studies have shown that this compound is selectively retained in malignant cells. In pre-clinical studies, CLR1404 was taken up and retained in 100% of the 40+ malignant tumor types tested. Cellectar plans to move the compound into phase I clinical trials in mid-2008.
About Venture Investors LLC
Venture Investors LLC is a venture capital firm with over $200 million under management. The firm invests in seed and early-stage life science and technology companies in the Midwest, with a primary focus on opportunities that spin out of the region's leading research universities. Formed in 1982, Venture Investors has offices strategically located next to the country's second and fourth largest research institutions in Madison, Wisconsin and Ann Arbor, Michigan. For additional information on the firm, visit http://www.ventureinvestors.com.
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